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Messi not among best in history – Bilardo

Lionel Messi is not one of the best players in history, according to former Argentina boss Carlos Bilardo.

The Barcelona star won his fifth Ballon d’Or in January following his stunning form last year as he lifted the treble at club level before helping Argentina to the final of the Copa America.

Bilardo stated two months ago that he did not consider the 28-year-old to be the best player ever to grace the game and the 76-year-old, now general manager of the national team, has gone on to explain his standpoint.

“[Alfredo] Di Stefano was a superman. He could begin a play in his goal and finish it in the other. Then came Pele and [Diego] Maradona,” he told Ole.

“Now it’s Messi, but they are different eras.

“I knew Messi would win [the Ballon d’Or], he deserved it. There’s quite a difference between him and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I put him among the best, but not in history, just of this moment.

“He’s reached his ceiling, he can’t win more than he has, but he has the incentive to win the World Cup.”

Bilardo went on to claim that Messi’s transition to a central false nine position earlier in his career was down to his own insistence.

“I said to his father ‘get him away from there and put him in the middle, where all the best play’. We did that for the national team and then Barcelona did the same,” he said.

In his homeland, Messi has been accused of failing to deliver on the biggest stage for his country in recent years, having delivered underwhelming performances in the finals of the World Cup and Copa America.

But Bilardo insists supporters must give him the kind of respect he receives from football fans in Spain.

“He’s one of the best in the world. He has recognition from the world, from his club, and he should have it here,” he added. “I’m not surprised by how he plays, I predicted how important he would be many years ago. 

“We have to stop criticising him. He’ll get tired of it one day and not come here anymore.”

Fri 11 Mar, 2016
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  1. LORD EBEN says:

    This man shdn’t be given the platform to blaspheme. How can he say that? What’s his criterion/criteria for selecting the best player in history?
    Being able to get to the world’s most prestigious cap final competitions twice in the same calendar year is the greatest achievement. Look at Leo Messi, he was the only player who could net the ball against the Chilly national team during the penalty shoot-out in 2015 coper America. (I’m sorry if I didn’t get the spelling of the competition’s name right)
    Had others like Heguin of Napolly and Aguaro of Man City, who have been prolific in goal scoring this season for their respective clubs, equally delivered as Leo, would Agentina have not gotten what was expected?
    Bilardo shd give us a break on baseless criticism against the genius. Messi is and will forever remain on top of history making players as far as football is concerned. I also confidently assure Leo’s critics that he SHALL silence you in the nearest future. Insha-Allah!!!

  2. Akins says:

    Lord Eben the man knows all about Messi those legend mentioned are in no class with Messi in terms of record and perfomance the got all that Messi had but Messi didnot get what they have. Meaning that they won all competions won by Messi but Messi is still looking for what they got which is World Cup so Bilardo was right sentiment apart. He never said he wasnt a good player but not in the part of history like the legends mentioned

  3. jojo says:

    Messi could not be great without his Barcelona team mates and their style of play. On the other hand, all the other players mentioned here did not depend on their teams to make them great.

  4. cloud says:

    i’m sorry. but i agree with bilardo on this one.

    messi is great – but not amongst the greatest of all time. he still needs to go out of barcelona to prove to everyone that is it indeed all about messi, not about barcelona.

    simple logic dictates that, if you’re a great player, no matter where you’ll play, you’ll still be great.

    modern examples : zidane. cr7, r9, beckham, figo …

  5. awungsh says:

    You are right jojo… It depends on. Team mates

  6. Epi Armani says:

    hum think you wrong.well everyone has their ways of looking at things.you ought to correct your statement cuz that guy deserves to be the best ever.

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