Maradona is one of the best soccer players in all of history, along with Pelé, Di Stefano, Cruyff and Messi. In Argentina they believe that he is the best. In Spain there is debate, although many of us prefer Messi. The controversy is served.
Either way, the numbers clearly favor Leo.
We are going to compare the merits of the record of both players.
As for titles, Messi has 36 (and he still has years of career left), while Maradona stayed at 12. Of course, Diego has a World Cup (Mexico 1986) and Leo, no. Messi lost his great opportunity in the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Maradona also lost one, that of Italy 1990.
Leo’s “problem” is that despite having a great balance in the decisive matches (26 victories and 11 defeats), so far he has only reached one final in a World Cup and lost it, and has only won titles with Argentina in lower categories (2005 U-20 World Cup and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games). With the Albiceleste he lost 3 Copa América finals (2007, 2015 and 2016). Maradona, for his part, did not win any continental title either. Diego played 3 editions of the Copa América, but did not reach any final.
We now go on to compare the goals and assists data of the two stars.
Messi destroys Maradona in the goals chapter and also clearly defeats him in the assists.
We can see this data better if we compare the averages.
In defense of Maradona, we could say that he played most of his career at Napoli and in Italian Serie A, a team of a lower level than Barça and with better opponents, and a much more defensive competition than Spain.
Messi is the silent leader, whose game is almost as brilliant as Maradona’s, and certainly much more effective.
Maradona is the noisy genius, who plays for the gallery, with passion, with blood, with art, but who often loses roles and makes decisions that harm the group.
Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to watch both of them many games throughout my life. I personally believe that Messi is the best player in history, ahead of Pelé and Maradona. Between these two, I already have my doubts about who to give the silver medal to.