FIFA World Cup

Stan Collymore Says Diego Maradona Will Remain ‘The Greatest’ Even if Lionel Messi Wins World Cup 2022

Stan Collymore, the former Liverpool and Nottingham Forest icon, has explained why Argentina’s predicted victory in the finals of the FIFA World Cup against France wouldn’t change his opinion on football’s never-ending GOAT debate.

According to him, Lionel Messi still wouldn’t be able to kick Diego Maradona off as the greatest footballer to ever play the sport in world history, even if he wins the World Cup tonight.

But that’s only an opinion from a single person, the former Liverpool, England, and Nottingham Forest icon who has now turned into a football pundit. According to whom, the legendary Maradona will always remain the best there ever was.

Collymore’s reasoning why Maradona remains GOAT

His belief, stated by him, is that at the time Maradona played the sport, he had to overcome several factors, including physicality, which isn’t a problem in today’s modern football.

According to Collymore, he said:

“If Messi wins the World Cup this afternoon, then people will say he’s the greatest of all time, and I understand how his CV would back that up. A World Cup winners’ medal is the one trophy missing from his cabinet, and that’s the one a lot of people point to as setting Maradona aside when they’re debating the best there’s been.”

“But I still go back to the point that the rule changes of the last decade and more, have allowed Messi to thrive in a way Maradona never got to…Maradona will remain the greatest for me.”

“He almost single handedly took a comparatively average Argentina team to victory at Mexico 1986 and, while some will say Messi has done the same if they do win in Qatar, it’s just such a different game now. It’s one that allows players who play the game in the way Maradona did, and the way Messi does to thrive in a way it never did when Maradona was in his prime.”

“The football landscape…have played right into Messi’s hands or, rather, his feet. I mean, can you imagine Messi playing against some of the defenders we came up against in the 90s in English football?”

“He certainly hasn’t had to come up against anyone remotely resembling Andoni Goikoetxea, the Butcher of Bilbao…for the ankle breaking, ligament shattering tackle he landed on Maradona, that put him out of the game for a year.”

“You have to wonder, then, whether Messi would have come back from some of the injuries Maradona did, and performed at such a level if he had. Maradona had the resilience to overcome it and that’s why he still has edge on his compatriot.”

Collymore states France will win over Argentina

He went further and added that he thinks France will have the edge over Lionel Messi-led Argentina at the grand finale of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the Lusail Stadium later today.

Collymore stated that he wished and hoped for France to win and that he was sure that they would. He also quickly clarified that he had no problem with Messi or Argentina winning their dream trophy but that it was his personal preference to see the French side win.

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Abhilasha Bhattacharjee - 203 Posts

Pop culture and sports enthusiast, while being a full-time bibliophile.

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