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Messi at start of long journey to becoming the best ever

March 22, 2010

SOCCER-SPAIN/Lionel Messi’s sublime hat-trick for Barcelona against Real Zaragoza on Sunday – his second triple in consecutive La Liga matches – provided more ammunition for those who believe he is the best player in the world.

As well as putting Champions League and World Cup rivals on high alert, his latest masterclass – a nonchalant header, a mazy run reminiscent of Diego Maradona in his prime, and a sweetly struck shot – even prompted club president Joan Laporta to hail the 22-year-old Argentina forward as the best the game has ever seen.

Messi has scored 11 times in his last five matches in all competitions and was generous enough to let the out-of-sorts Zlatan Ibrahimovic take a late penalty after another twisting run ended with a foul in the Zaragoza area.

“He is the best player in the world and in the history of football,” Laporta told Canal Plus television.

“Along with Johan Cruyff and Diego Maradona he is the best we have ever seen at Barcelona. He played a great game, he’s a brilliant footballer, decisive in matches and plays for the team.”

Laporta’s gushing comments about his star player were predictable and it’s probably much too early to declare Messi the greatest ever player.

He has yet to prove himself at a World Cup and questions remain over his form on international duty, where he has failed to reproduce the brilliant displays he regularly turns in for his club.

Writing in Monday’s Marca sports daily, columnist Roberto Palomar noted that Messi’s generosity toward Ibrahimovic made it easier for fans to identify with him and this could help him become the greatest player in soccer history one day.

“Normality, rather than being a drawback, could turn into a weapon to enable him to become the best player in history,” Palomar said.

“But he is not there yet,” he added. “Let’s not forget that he scored the three goals against a weak team in the Spanish league and that reduces their value.

“The World Cup awaits and this is a big challenge he has to handle, as Pele, Cruyff or Maradona did in their day.”

A Messi-inspired Argentina triumph in South Africa would be a good start

PHOTO: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi wins a penalty during their La Liga match at Real Zaragoza’s La Romadera stadium, March 21, 2010. REUTERS/Luis Correas.

Comments

yeah, messi has longwayto go to become the greatest player that the game has seen.He must prove himself at the World Cup and also should perform consistently at the highest level for five to six years in order to be considered as such.

Posted by siemens | Report as abusive
 

as messi still has along way to go lets not forget he had a hattrick against a German side in the champions league…that was brilliant. For some reason soccer in the old days was not the same as today! And that is why duration is not a factor. World could be a factor or not because one single player can take a weaker team to victory, coaching also has to be considered. Is he playing the player in the right position or his he partnering the right pair?

Posted by sillace | Report as abusive
 

His finshing are all classic, its more of placement rather a powerful ones. He is generous, giving chances for the struggling striker Ibra to prove hsi worthiness. WOuld Chirstiano had done that? I doubt.
Hence he sure is becoming the WORLD BEST.

Posted by barca | Report as abusive
 

messi is for the sure the worlds best. but rooney isn’t too far of. ronaldo hasn’t been as good this season as he can and not as good as teh two above. . rooney has pulled a team thats not as good as barcelona. barcelona are that good that if messi didn’t play they d still control teh game and win. where as utd without rooney are not tehin same. rooney is that important and that good. but in general messi is better as a utd fan i can admit that. but this season its very close for the european player of the year. or world player of the year. whatever its called lolz.

Posted by moshahid | Report as abusive
 

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