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L. Messi

Messi hailed as 'the greatest' by Tagliafico as he backs Argentina team-mate to dispel Maradona 'myth' at 2022 World Cup

4:29 PM MYT 22/11/2022
Lionel Messi Argentina 2022-23
Lionel Messi “is the greatest”, says Nicolas Tagliafico, with Argentina looking to dispel Pele and Diego Maradona myths at the 2022 World Cup.
  • Seven-time Ballon d'Or winner already a legend
  • Has never claimed a global crown
  • Opportunity to put that right in Qatar tournament

WHAT HAPPENED? For many, seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi has already cemented his status as the finest player to have ever laced up a pair of boots. Some, though, will refuse to accept his standing as No.1 for as long as global glory eludes him, with another shot at claiming the ultimate prize about to be taken in on Qatari soil.

WHAT THEY SAID: Tagliafico, who is determined to help complete a remarkable roll of honour for an illustrious colleague, has said in the Daily Mail: “I think Leo is the greatest. Greatest ever? I don't know because I never saw Diego play, nor Pele. It's true that there are people who say that to be on the same level as Diego he has to win a World Cup but I've been told about so many great players such as Johan Cruyff who couldn't win a World Cup so I don't believe that. Hopefully he can win a World Cup and we can end, once and for all, this myth that he has to win one to be like Diego.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lyon full-back Tagliafico went on to say of an all-time great that is also plying his club trade in France with Paris Saint-Germain: “He can seem from the outside to be reserved, shy even, but when you get to know him he's a normal guy and you can talk to him about anything. I sometimes think he doesn't realise just how huge he is and what he means in the world of football. He seems so normal it's as if he doesn't realise it himself.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? Argentina are set to open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, before going on to face Mexico and Poland in their other Group C fixtures.