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Messi is number one – Simeone

Diego Simeone says no other player comes close to Argentina star Lionel Messi but stopped short of drawing comparisons between the Barcelona forward and Diego Maradona.

Messi is set to win his 100th Argentina cap against Jamaica at the Copa America on Saturday, having led Barca to a treble in the season just gone.

Despite losing out on the 2015 Ballon d’Or to Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi can still consider himself the world’s best according to Atletico Madrid coach Simeone.

The former Argentina international told TyC Sports: “Messi is the number one. In recent years there has not been any player who has come close to Messi.”

However, when quizzed on comparisons between the current Argentina skipper and the legendary Maradona, Simeone added: “[Messi and Maradona] played in different eras and different positions.

“Messi is much more of a striker, while Diego played all over the pitch.

“It’s not fair [to compare them] as it just creates controversy, but within the debate are two extraordinary players.

“Messi has played in four Champions League finals and won them all. If I’m not mistaken, I don’t think anyone else has.

“You can’t compare these great players. Hopefully Lionel can lead Argentina to Copa America and then a World Cup.

“A player like Lionel will adapt to any situation to win because he wants to win.”

Sat 20 Jun, 2015
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