‘Messi vs Maradona debate is unfair’ – Veron can’t pick between two icons of different eras

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The former Argentina international, who is one of few to have played with two all-time greats, feels it is impossible to determine who is better

Juan Sebastian Veron considers the ongoing debate regarding the greatness of Lionel Messi compared to Diego Maradona is “unfair”, with both men having defined their respective eras.

In the 1980s and early 90s, there was no debating who the finest player on the planet was.

Maradona was a force of nature and a man capable of awe-inspiring feats, such as leading Argentina to World Cup glory and Napoli to title success in Serie A.

In the modern game, a standing at the top of the talent pile has been taken up by Messi, with the Barcelona forward delivering displays of individual brilliance on a remarkably consistent basis.

It has been suggested that he needs international honours in order to compete with Maradona for the title of best of all time, but Veron believes both can be proud of what they have achieved.

The former Argentina international, who played with both men, told 90min when asked for his take on who is the best: “It is difficult, very complex.

“Some say Maradona, because he won a World Cup. Those who did not see Maradona and did see Messi are going to tell you Messi.

“I think those kinds of comparisons with players that have given us so much in football seem very unfair. Such discussions lead to nothing, they are useless.”

Pressed to pick out the main differences between the pair, Veron added: “The era, the speed of football. The personalities, in a good way.

“Diego marked an era and today Messi is marking his own with different personalities, and different ways to play football.

“They are undoubtedly two historic players and we are lucky that they are Argentine.”

Diego Maradona Arjantin

Messi continues to star for Barcelona in 2019, while Maradona is now in charge of relegation-threatened Gimnasia in his homeland.

Asked how he expects that coaching stint to go, Veron said: “In football, anything can happen.

“Undoubtedly [his arrival] generated great enthusiasm. Enthusiasm helps to diffuse many football differences. Then it will depend on the talent of his coaches, his talent and what he can generate on the field.”

Veron worked under some iconic bosses in his playing days but does not consider former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to have been the pick.

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He said when that poser was put to him: “I didn't pay much attention to the tactical details. In reality, I played, I paid attention, I knew what was being said - because obviously you are obviously within a group - but I always paid a lot of attention to team management, always.

“For me, the best at that who I worked with was Sven-Goran Eriksson.

“I hardly ever experienced any kind of problems in his teams. And they were groups with strong personalities. He got on with everyone very well and ultimately that made us win, especially at Lazio.”

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