‘What more can he do?’ – Jamie Carragher doesn’t buy the Maradona and Pele argument where Messi is concerned

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Whenever the best player to have ever played the beautiful game is spoken about, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in the conversation.

A conversation that inevitably includes Diego Maradona and Pele.

Clearly, all four have a claim to being considered as the true No.1, but former Liverpool stalwart, Jamie Carragher, believes that Messi is head and shoulders above his contemporaries.

“People always throw Pele and Maradona into the best-ever argument, but I think what Messi has done year-in and year-out in the Champions League trumps that,” he said in Messi – The King of Camp Nou.

“Unfortunately, people will always say things like ‘he never did this, won that.’ It’s the same for Liverpool in some seasons. Whatever we achieved, we got opposition fans saying ‘well, you didn’t win the league.’

“The reality is that it can be to do with the manager at the time, the squad of players, the opposition, whatever… Messi could even legitimately argue that he wasn’t even playing in the best international team in the world.

“They did well getting to a final, in which he was player of the tournament. What more can he do?!”

In Carragher’s professional opinion, the competition isn’t even close given how relentless the Argentinian has been throughout his career.

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“Ronaldo’s quite clever. I think a lot of his moves have been on the back of ‘what can I do that’s different?’ He can say he’s won the league in all these countries, been the top scorer in all these countries and these are more strings to his bow. He probably does the opposite to what Messi does to try and paint himself as being slightly different and better,” he continued.

“But listen, I don’t think of Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini being any less of a defender because they never left AC Milan. So that’s not going to change my opinion with Lionel Messi not leaving Barcelona. I mean, why would you leave Barcelona?!

“That also gets thrown at Pep Guardiola as a manager. ‘Oh he only takes the big jobs, what would he be like with a team at the bottom or a team in the middle?’ But why the hell would he do that?

“It’s like saying to Messi ‘go and sign for Southampton.’ It’s just stupid, absolutely daft.

“He’s at the top club, he’s the best player there, he’s the best player in Europe and has been for more than a decade. The best show up against the best on the biggest occasions and that’s what he does.”

Lionel Messi

Messi has moved on to Paris Saint Germain of course, and it remains to be seen if he will be the catalyst to ensure the Ligue Un giant win their maiden Champions League title.

Furthermore, with a World Cup just a year away, there’s the opportunity for the Argentinian to finally put the argument to bed once and for all.

All quotes obtained first hand by the author. Messi – The King of Camp Nou is published on December 16

More Stories Diego Maradona Lionel Messi Pele


  1. Ronaldo is clearly had and shoulders above Leo. Has done more in the CL, for country and in multiple leagues. Still breaking records at 36 and not flopping in a smaller league. Simply the best.

  2. Arguing that Argentina never had a team strong enough is an insult to players like Di Maria and Aguero and a team with such talent to win 1 Copa America during the many years Messi played is just absurd

  3. Only those who knows about foothball talks like this.he faces reality and not sentimental.a true foodhbal scientist.messi is better than all without sentiment.it is only those who don’t know anything about foothball argues that.

  4. Is no more Messi is one club man, now is he flops in small league ,what is flop if I may ask his club is toping league 1, his club is toping their group in champions league he has scored six goals in club and champions league he made many assist what is flop here

  5. This is one of many crazy arguments I ever read from a man calling himself a football know-it-all.
    This conversation should not be even happening since Messi can never compare to the Great Players of the first and second generation.
    He is one of the greatest players among the third generation of football but the only reason he can play football in the first place is because of the road paved by our football great from early generations who worked miracles to make football as popular as it is now and inspire new generations of young people to want to play football.
    You can praise talented players but don’t destroy the hard work of the early players who had to fight against so many things to put football on the map.
    This Great Game deserves better than these media commentators intentionally dragging down other football stars and talents to raise other players up.
    Everyone has a place in football!

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