Lionel Messi cannot be compared to the late Diego Maradona.
That is the view of Maradona’s son, Junior, who has weighed in on the ongoing debate over which Argentine legend is better.
Messi, 35, was unable to rescue his country after they suffered a remarkable 2-1 opening World Cup group stage defeat against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Sitting bottom of Group C on zero points, the pressure is now on Messi and Argentina, who must produce the goods against Mexico on Saturday, or almost certainly face an early exit from the 2022 World Cup.
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Although often compared to Maradona, Messi’s biggest shortcoming has always been his failure to lift the World Cup in his country’s famous blue and white colours – something that Junior’s father did back in 1986.
Diego Maradona’s son on Lionel Messi
Speaking about the PSG forward’s underwhelming performance against Saudi Arabia, Maradona Junior, who spoke to Radio Marte (as quoted by The Mirror), refused to compare the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to his late father.
“The comparison between Messi and my dad is made by those who don’t see and don’t understand football,” Maradona Junior said.
“We’re talking about two different planets, but I don’t want to immediately throw the cross at Lionel.
“I am devastated by this defeat. I find it hard to believe that all this really happened.
“Losing to Saudi Arabia is crazy. They were quite scared. Football is like that. They come to you. Sometimes it happens that you lose even against much weaker opponents.”
Do you agree with Maradona’s son’s comments? – Which player is Argentina’s greatest-ever, Maradona or Messi? – Let us know in the comments.