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The GOAT debate is over: Messi is the one

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  1. Pele, Messi. I dunno. Both fantastic and magical, they played in different eras, almost a different game.

    However, Messi > Maradona. because while both had some help from their teammates, only Maradona had direct assistance from God.

  2. “Pele never left the comforts of Brazilian club Santos to test himself in Europe”

    Yes, not in Europe, but there were more than 100 appearances with the NY Cosmos in 75-77.

  3. So is anyone going to admit how Messi’s second goal should have never counted? Argentine subs invade pitch before play is over which should cancel goal and give free kick to France! And Di Maria’s clear dive for the first Argentina Pk not even reviewed by ref.
    Let’s not ruin the fairy tale though!

      • Yeh the rules are pretty crystal clear there is like a whole section on exactly this type of thing. You can’t follow them just when you want! No one forced the Argentine subs to be on the field while the play was occurring!

      • Law 3.9 clearly states:

        “If, after a goal is scored, the referee realises, before play restarts, that an extra person was on the field of play when the goal was scored:

        the referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was:
        a player, substitute, substituted player, sent-off player or team official of the team that scored the goal; play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position of the extra person”

        No way VAR could miss the like 5-6 Argnetines 10 yards into the pitch before goal is scored. The just chose to ignore the rules clearly.

    • Or the fact that Di Maria continues to save his reputation. Three finals that Di Maria plays in and they win. One final he doesn’t Argentina lose. And this one he gets subbed out and Argentina craps themselves and France ties. Plus lets it mention that Otamendi wasn’t red card late in the game. France should have been one player up.

    • Mat,

      I was looking at that Hand of God goal that Maradona scored back in 1986, I think.
      You know what, it was a handball!!!

      It should never have counted!

      26 years later they still haven’t reviewed it.

      Let’s not ruin the fairy tale though!

  4. I find myself agreeing with Jorge Burrachaga’s remark that DiStephano, Pele, Cruyff, Maradona, and Messi were all the greatest players of their generation…trying to compare them across generations is just blethering (if I may borrow a Scots expression that I wish Alexi Lalas would google.)

  5. Everyone forgets that Pelé and Santos consistently beat top European teams. I mean that Santos team with Pelé was unstoppable at times.

    But I will say this Pelé said that the best player he ever saw or played against was George Best.

    Very happy and thankful I was able to watch Messi play who is in the Pantheon with Pelé and Maradonna.

  6. Still Pelé. I think he is the greatest player I have seen play in my lifetime. Never got to see Pelé play. I have watched videos of Pelé, and he saw the field even more than Messi. Pelé did things Messi wouldn’t see. Pelé played in an era where attacking players were hacked down all of the time and the ball was very different. What Pelé did in that era I don’t think the attackers in this era would last a game.

    Pelé has three WC trophies and played with one of the greatest national teams of all time with that 1970 Brazil team. That 1970 Brazil team led by Brazil beats this Argentina team led by Messi.

  7. Gotta think a lot of what makes Pele the greatest is the cultural impact he had across the world and how he, and the team played. Everyone wants to be that 1970 Brazilian team.
    But I now think that on the field, Messi is the greatest. A big reason why Argentina had this run was he was willing to change where and how he played to better fit the team. He put team first.

    • It’s between Messi and Pele. Pele has the cultural impact you mentioned, plus 3 World Cups. That’s an astounding accomplishment, even if Pele didn’t do it all by himself. I have a hard time looking past those world cups plus the cultural impact, even if I never saw Pele play. Messi’s overall record is better. How many titles for club? Copa America victory. Single season goals accomplishment. Champions league. I really can’t pick between the two, even if Messi should be, by the numbers, the best. I guess I’ll go with Messi on the tie breaker that I’ve been lucky enough to see him play.


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