Messi is not the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) footballer by my own assessment because, Messi has never done anything different from what Pele and Maradona have done in their soccer exploits. As a matter of fact, what we have on records are quite many achievements that these great footballers have achieved which Messi have never moved closer to in terms of accomplishment.
I sincerely know that the issue caused by this profound blindfold is borne out of a generational gap. Most of you guys shouting “unbelievable” in this generation were singing praises in heaven in 1958, 1962 and 1970 when Pele was singlehandedly ruling the World of Soccer with which he captured three World Cups. Some of you were not yet born when Maradona waltzed through the team defenses in 1982, 1986 like an enigma that he was.
So, I find it difficult to fathom the sense of judgment that will ignore a trailblazer or a pathfinder and put an apprentice or a grandchild over his ancestors.
Well, it’s not as if I’m not a Messi fan. But, let’s be factual. Someone like me has had the privilege of seeing through the entire generational display of their quality soccer display. So, I know who holds the mastery of what we used to call the Zagalo “the Bicycle Kick”. Back heel, the Banana Kick, the Mark Out etc.
How could Messi be the greatest of all time? In comparison to who? To Christiano Ronaldo? What are his statistics compared to Pele? Pele scored 1284 goals through his football career while Messi had scored over 700 goals. Pele had about 92 hat-tricks while Messi has 53. Pele won three World Cups at age 30 while Messi just won one at age 35.
Pele was the only player declared a National Treasure by his country. Pele was the only soccer player for whom a referee was expelled in a game. Pele was the only player in history that ever dribbled 9 players and scored a goal (Maracana Stadium in 1961). Pele was the only player in history for who Queen of England broke protocol just to shake his hands. Pele was the only player in history to be married by the POPE a second time to the same woman as recognition of his greatness. Pele was the only player in history for whom a war was stopped in order to watch him play – The Nigerian Civil War – only for the war to resume thereafter.
I can go on and on. Please things have to be put in perspective. In my humble submission, Messi is truly an icon and a Soccer maestro in the mould of the past Soccer heroes but never the greatest of all.