Talking to the press ahead of Sunday’s La Liga bout between the two clubs, Marcelino was asked whether Messi was the world’s greatest player.
“I saw Maradona, and I don’t know if there’s too much of a difference between him and Messi,” the coach began, as reported by AS. “If Messi wins the World Cup, he’ll be the best.”
As the only player in the history to win the Ballon d’Or on five occasions—of which four were run in a row—while he also became the first player to win three European Golden Shoes.
His honours call with Barcelona is magnificent, having won seven Spanish titles and four Uefa Champions League crowns, although, as noted by Marcelino, the World Cup—or lack thereof—remains a missing component of the forward’s honours call.
Incriminating footage appears to show Manchester United superstar Wayne Rooney making off with Nike haul
Premier League playmaker offers support for Manchester United flop
Liverpool dealt injury blow as key player pulls out of Southampton match
Maradona won the tournament in 1986 when he guided Argentina to the title, although Messi was unable to repeat the trick in 2014 when his Albiceleste side fell at the final hurdle to Germany.
Messi’s Barca could consolidate their spot at the top of the Spanish table with victory over fourth-place Villarreal on Sunday, their position strengthened by Atletico Madrid’s surprise loss to Sporting Gijon on Saturday.