GOAT: Why Maradona is better than Messi
Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona [Photo: Courtesy]

If you’re not familiar with sports, the term ‘GOAT’ may come as a bit of a conundrum to you, but rest assured, it does not refer to a farmyard animal but the greatest player of all time.

GOAT is a tag which is reserved for the individual who is deemed to be the undisputed master of their sport.

Football fans, players and coaches often debate who is the greatest player of all time when you talk of megastars like Pele, Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Italian legend and Ballon d’Or winner Fabio Cannavaro thinks that Diego Maradona is the best, not Barcelona’s Messi.

“I respect Messi a lot. For the new generation, he is one of the best, but Maradona is different because football was different.

“They kicked him a lot, but he was always in control and he was tough.

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GOAT: Why Maradona is better than Messi
Former Italy captain and 2006 World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro. [Photo: Courtesy]

Messi is a record six-time Ballon d’Or winner but Cannavaro believes 1986 World Cup champion Maradona is the greatest.

“Messi is top, but Maradona is another world. I never compare him with other players. I never saw Pele, but I watched Maradona, for seven years I saw every game.

“He’s not one of the best, he’s the best,” Cannavaro – now the head coach of Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande after captaining Italy to World Cup glory in 2006 – told Sky Sports on Sunday.

Maradona won trophies at Barcelona, helping the Spanish giants to clinch Copa del Rey, Copa de la Liga and Supercopa de Espana.

The controversial playmaker then went on to become an icon with Serie A’s Napoli, where he won two Serie A titles, as well as UEFA Cup, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.

Messi has won 10 LaLiga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles among other honours at the Nou Camp.

Trophies have, however, eluded Messi playing for Argentina as a senior player.

GOAT: Why Maradona is better than Messi
Who is the greatest footballer of all time? Is it Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Or do you have to look further back in time to Diego Maradona or Pele? It’s a topic that is debated across the world, across generations and it divides opinion. [Photo: Courtesy]

Other players who have been declared the greatest include Ronaldo Nazario, Alfredo Di Stefano, Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini and Franz Beckenbauer. The likes of Andres Iniesta, Luka Modric, Xavi and Ronaldinho have not been left behind.

In other disciplines; Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Serena Williams are just some of the names that have been branded the GOAT.

As well as exceptional talent, to be considered the GOAT, the individual must also maintain a consistent high level of achievement.

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