Chelsea favourite Didier Drogba has suggested that Lionel Messi may not be regarded as the greatest player in the world until he can match the achievements of Diego Maradona and Pele at the global stage. The Barcelona forward has won every trophy in the cabinet at club level, but he has not found similar success with the Argentina national side.
Speaking to AFP, Drogba stressed that Messi is a legendary footballer on current terms, but he could enhance his reputation further, if he manages to lead his country to the World Cup like Maradona and Pele, he said: “Messi could stop now and he would already have done a lot for football. To win a World Cup would make him even more legendary. He’s an extraordinary player! He’s still not at the heights of Maradona and Pele, but he’s not far away.”
Argentina managed to reach the final of the World Cup in the 2014 edition in Brazil, but they unfortunately lost in extra-time to Germany. Since then, the club have suffered disappointments in the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America Centenario finals on penalties, and this summer’s tournament is probably the final opportunity for what is called a golden generation for Argentina.
The likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria, and Nicolas Otamendi would be on the wrong side of 30 before the World Cup kick-starts in Russia, and this is considered as their best chance, considering Messi is pondering over retirement, if they fail to do so. Like at club level, Messi has turned out as the orchestrator of the Argentina attack, and the success in the tournament would truly rank as probably the greatest player to have ever played the game. The 30-year-old is presently in Manchester where Argentina are due to host Italy in an international friendly at the Etihad Stadium.