The former Argentina striker believes the legendary 52-year-old made Napoli win titles on hsi own and feels he was "cheated" at the 1994 World Cup
The 1986 World Cup winner led the Partenopei to two Scudetti during a seven-year stint in Serie A, while the 26-year-old has claimed six Spanish titles and three Champions League trophies during his time at Barcelona.
And Caniggia, who won over 50 caps for Argentina, believes that Maradona was the sole reason behind the Neapolitans' success, while Messi has been blessed with superior team-mates.
"Messi is now the number one, but he does not have the determination Maradona did." Canigga told Argentina's Radio9.
"Nobody could do what Diego did with Napoli. They had a good team, but were not champions, yet he took the team on his shoulders and made them winners. Nobody else could do that."
And Caniggia also believes that Maradona was 'cheated' out of the 1994 World Cup when he was sent home from the tournament after failing a drugs test.
"In that World Cup, I think Diego was cheated," he continued.
"Diego was fine and no one wanted Argentina to reached the final or to be champion. When they realised that Argentina was about to win the World Cup, happened what you already know.
"Maradona is, was and will be the most decisive and biggest player that have ever been."