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’Lionel Messi will never be as good as Diego Maradona even if he wins the next four World Cups’

Lionel Messi of Argentina kisses the Copa America trophy after the Copa America final against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro last week. Photo: Andre Coelho/EPA

Lionel Messi of Argentina kisses the Copa America trophy after the Copa America final against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro last week. Photo: Andre Coelho/EPA

Published Jul 15, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Argentina football icon Mario Kempes believes there’s nothing that Lionel Messi can do to become better than Diego Maradona.

Kempes, who was Argentina’s creative mastermind when they won the 1978 World Cup in their home country, said it was unfortunate that the Barcelona striker often finds himself compared to Maradona.

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“For Messi, the misfortune is that he was the replacement for Diego Maradona," Kempes told ESPN Mexico, per Marca.

"And it is very difficult to overshadow Diego, with the idolatry that he has received around the world.

"If [Messi] wants to be better than Maradona, he is not going to achieve it even if he wins four World Cups in a row.

"He still hasn't won the World Cup. No matter how many [titles he] wins or what he wins, it can never be compared to what Diego did."

Maradona famously single-handedly guided Argentina to the World Cup title in Mexico in 1986, and dragged them to the final at Italia 90 where they were beaten in the final by West Germany.

Messi, on the other hand, has failed to win football’s ultimate prize, and at 34, it’s widely believed that time is fast running out on him.

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