Former goalkeeper explains why Lionel Messi is better than Diego Maradona

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In Argentina, the debate as to whether who’s the better Argentine player in Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona often brings spirited debates as to which player is the best to lace up a pair of boots for the South American country. 

Former Paraguayan goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert provided an outsider’s perspective in an interview with TyC Sports (via Marca) ahead of Argentina’s FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixture against Paraguay.

The 56-year-old highlighted the differences between the two players but stated that Messi would be his pick if he had to choose one.

“Once I told a colleague of yours who asked me if I would stop Messi in a heads-up, and I said yes, I would stop everything. The journalist asked me how I would do it and I answered: Control I have it from the Playstation, I stop it when I want. It is the only way to stop Lionel,” Chilavert said.

“In Argentina, many put that Maradona is better than Messi, for me Maradona was predictable and Messi is unpredictable. That is the difference.”

Chilavert also went into detail about what separates Messi from the likes of Maradona. The goalkeeper states that the ball is glued to the 34-year-old’s foot and adds that Messi’s free-kick abilities and how he executes them is something he applauds.

“Lionel has the ball tied to his foot, he plays so naturally and if he faces you hand in hand you don’t know whether to run away to reduce him or stay because you know that there is always a new technique to what a normal player is. It is very difficult, for example in the free throws that he executes with such precision at the angles that I want to applaud him,” Chilavert said.

“When Messi is going to take a free-kick, I have to try to guess it to get there, but when Maradona kicked them, for example when I had to face him with Vélez and that famous free-kick outside the barrier, I already knew that he was going to hit the outside because of how it stopped. Then I fly and get it out.”

Maradona has a FIFA World Cup, which Messi has yet to win, and will possibly have a chance to win one next year in Qatar.

More Stories Argentina National Team Diego Maradona Lionel Messi


  1. Maradona was better tehnically. He had balls, he was a leader. Messi is not a leader, but he has heart. Messi’s game is beautiful, Maradona’s was unbelievable. He was more individual when Messi is more a team player. People were in awe with Maradona but they love Messi. Maradona could lift up the whole team while Messi can lift up the whole stadium.
    Whoever wants to compare the two is an idiot.

  2. Messi couldn’t survive the tackles Maradona had to ,simple as ,Messi is a great player but Maradona is way stronger and faster he would take today’s players apart, Ramos would know what hit him

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