Greatest Argentine Footballer – Maradona or Messi?


Zealan Munsey, Photographer

It all started in the South American country of Argentina that neighbors Brazil, Chile and more. Argentina has produced some pretty decent football players over the years, with two of the names being some of the most recognizable ones in the world.

One of them is Diego Maradona, one of the greatest to ever set foot on the pitch. With a World Cup win in 1986 and being named the FIFA Player of the Century in 2000 alongside the Brazilian legend Pelé, it seemed a closed case that Maradona would be the best Argentine player ever.

But not so fast there. That title should go to the 7x Ballon D’Or winner Lionel (Leo) Messi. Coincidentally, both Maradona and Messi played for Barcelona in their careers.

From 17 years with FC Barcelona in La Liga (the top Spanish league) to now closing up on his second year with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 (the top French league), Messi is a staple of soccer. You don’t have to follow the sport to have heard his name.

As the captain of the Argentina squad, Messi comes into this World Cup without a finals win or a goal in the knock-out stage. In the Argentine’s Round of 16 match versus the Australians, he finally accomplished that latter feat.

What makes the goal even more glorious is that it was Messi’s 1,000th senior career appearance, including his time with Argentina, Barca and PSG.

In the 34th minute, Messi blasted the ball past the Aussie keeper and captain Mathew Ryan for his 789th career goal for club and country.

Messi has been a star since he was a teen. He left his home country to move to Spain at the age of 13, where he played in the FC Barcelona youth system. By the time he was 17, he was playing for the senior Barca team. He scored his first senior goal on May 1, 2005 against Albacete, which was only just the beginning of his many scores to come. In his first year, Barca went on to win La Liga for the first time in six years. Messi sure is something else.

From becoming probably the greatest to ever grace the pitch at Camp Nou (Barcelona) to heading the PSG squad with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar Jr., Messi has done it all.

Messi is known as “La Pulga” ー Spanish for “the flea” due to his small size but quickness, agility, and everything else. Throughout his career, he has continued to inspire football fans around the world. So many kids wear #10 so they can be like him.

We will probably never see as amazing of a footballer like him ever again.