Lionel Messi is NOT the Greatest Player Of All Time…Yet
Last weekend the brothers sat down to watch Barcelona play Granada and witness the record-breaking wonder that is Lionel Messi. His 3-goal display took him to the ridiculous goal tally of 54 goals for the season (he’s now on 55 after this past weekend) and confirmed him as not human Barcelona’s all time top goalscorer and once again people were shouting out ‘best player in the world’. There is no doubt that Messi could well be one of, if not THEE best football player of our generation.
What followed was a 2 hour argument, back and forth (as you do) on reasons why he is or isn’t the best player of all time. As we agreed to differ I thought I’d take it to the website and state my opinions and find out from our readers and avid football followers (the ones who don’t make decisions based off of stats and Messi-contributed victories on FIFA, Pro or Football Manager) what they think.
5 REASONS WHY MESSI ISN’T THE BEST PLAYER OF ALL TIME…..YET
1) “Messi isn’t even the best player in the world…..Xavi is”
Messi’s record speaks for itself over the last three years and it would be unfair to even rule anybody out who classes him as the best. However triple Ballon D’ors aside, in my opinion Xavi Hernandez is the best player in the world; he pulls all the strings for Barca, impeccable on the ball, his delivery is perfect, pass rate insane and his reading of the game is probably unmatched right now. Take it from somebody who’s seen him live at the Nou Camp, he is THEE best.
Its very easy to give the best player in the world award to goalscorers, of course Messi has much more than that to his game and you can’t not give him his accolades for breaking records season after season but Xavi to me is a true craftsmen and has never received the plaudits he deserves. How can you be the best player of all time if you’re not the best player in your own team?
2) Club/ Country argument 1
A lot of people come with the approach that in order for Messi to be the best he must win the World Cup with Argentina…not necessarily true. Though Pele, Maradonna and Beckenbauer won the World Cup with their respective countries we don’t think its a necessity for Messi to do so. There are tons of world class players who couldn’t stand a chance of winning for their countries, because well…the countries weren’t quite good enough, Hagi – Romania, Stoichkov – Bulgaria, Best – Northern Ireland etc HOWEVER the difference is they all PERFORMED for their country. Lionel Messi hasn’t really set alight an international tournament, with the World Cup and Copa America being his recent failures, his team were capable of winning both but didn’t produce individually or as a team. Could he be the best club footballer of all time, sure! Best player….not yet.
3) Is 5-6 years enough?
At 24, Lionel Messi’s record is incredible, he’s done in a 6 year span what most won’t be able to do in a whole career; but to say he’s the best of all time after 5 seasons is excitable. What if he declines next season and from then on? What will people say? Look at how quickly Ronaldinho and Ronaldo were forgotten? Messi’s on his way but he’s not there yet.
4) Club/Country argument 2
As stated in the 2nd point Messi is on another level for Barcelona but not very effective for Argentina which begs the question “Can he play at his current level outside of the best team in the world?”. He doesn’t have to as Giggs, Totti, Maldini etc have shown that you can be one of the greats playing for one team in your career; but when you took a player like Maradonna out of a team and into Napoli who wasn’t the top team in Serie A at the time of his arrival and he single-handedly (ok not single handedly) took them to the title, I think it would definitely erase any argument that Messi is not the best if he went abroad too. Which brings us to….
5) Cristiano Ronaldo
Bravado, cry baby and stepovers aside, Lionel Messi’s ‘nemesis’ has proved himself in two leagues racking up an impressive goals to games ratio that takes his record at Real Madrid to a higher percentage than Lionel Messi at Barcelona. Could Messi do the job at Real? Probably. Could Ronaldo do the job at Barca? Probably. All I know is, if I judge by stats and all round game and had to choose between Messi and Ronaldo? CR7 may have to get the call up.
Messi is arguably the best player in the world, but best player of all time? Lets see him reach his peak first. Scary thought.
What’s your thoughts?