Top 10 Reasons Why Leo Messi Won't Ever Be the Undisputed GOAT

Tags: #Soccer ,   #Football ,   #FootballPlayer ,   #Messi

Michael Wendom

Michael Wendom

Last updated:  2023-05-12 18:00:08

Thanks to the internet, heated discussions about who is the greatest association football player became very common. Furthermore, the media often fuel the fire with biased and heavily inaccurate info. Yet, things get out of hand whenever you put Leo Messi into the discussion. The Argentinian is a highly-polarizing player, so while many see him as the greatest ever, others wouldn't list him in the top 3 or 5. These are the top ten reasons why Messi will never be the undisputed GOAT of the game.

10. He Lacks Versatility

Cristiano said it the best

Calling Leo Messi a one-dimensional player makes no sense. If that were the case, his predictability would make him pretty ineffective. Yet, the fact is that his left foot is by far his best offensive weapon. As the stats show, out of his first 700 goals, he scored 582 with it! Less than a 100 he managed to get in with his right, and most were tap-ins. Although reports say that he worked hard to improve his weaker foot, he can't compare to many other superstars.

Furthermore, his heading ability is non-existent, as he scores less than two headers per year! Let's compare that to Pelé, who had 119 while only four centimeters taller! Yet, Messi's leaping ability is excellent, as he rivals Cristiano Ronaldo on that matter. Hence, the difference is his subpar heading ability and positioning, which is way behind Ronaldo and Pelé. Thus, many don't enjoy watching him play.

 9. His Ego is Massive

Fans loved him, but his attitude alienated them

The media is usually busy talking about the size of the ego of Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and a few other superstars. Yet, we could see Messi topping them. For numerous years, we've heard rumors about him deciding everything in Barcelona. This includes transfer policy to tactics and his role on the team. Yet, that's what happened. Furthermore, he often stays on the field even though his performance hurts the team. In some extreme cases, he refused to come out even though it was apparent that he was injured.

Messi also has no problem taking credit when winning. Still, he'll let the media blame everyone else when the results don't go his way. To be fair, the size of his ego is a consequence of enormous respect from his coaches, teammates, and even referees. As we've seen in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, he managed to get some highly controversial penalty shots and not receive a yellow for violent actions. A true superstar puts his team ahead of himself, but Messi often can't do that. Yet, when so many people tell you that you can do whatever you want without consequences, it goes to your head.

8. He Claims That He Isn't the Best Ever

That's a huge and original sign of respect

While his ego might be giant, Messi knows how to show respect. Therefore, you'll never see him saying he is the greatest like Pelé often did. During his career, Leo was often compared to his compatriot Maradona. Yet, when speaking about him, Messi famously said he won't be better even in a million years. Those are big words, but we don't doubt they are honest.

In the whole debate, Messi remains surprisingly quiet, and we're sure he will stay out of it long after he retires. The amount of hate this conversation brings is scary, and as mentioned, even the media can't be objective about him. There's no doubt that it also affects him, no matter how hard he tries to downplay it. Thus, if we ever had a chance for an interview, the last question we would ask him is about who is the greatest ever.

7. Media Machinery Makes Him Better Than He Is

FIFA pushed him, and the media accepted it

How many people have watched Pelé or Maradona in their prime? Even if they were old enough, they could rarely see them on TV screens. Nowadays, that's much easier. Every day you can read and watch videos about Messi's greatness, as mainstream media are often openly biased toward him. We could see that at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where his performance was often overrated. Unfortunately, that's unfair to his teammates and many other great players.

UEFA, and especially FIFA, are often accused of favoring specific teams and players. Unfortunately, sometimes that's obvious when we study their relations with Maradona and Pelé. The Argentine was even unjustly disqualified from the 1994 FIFA World Cup and often snubbed, as he openly criticized the organization. On the other hand, the Brazilian had way better treatment, and FIFA heads named him the best player ever, even though the public had chosen Maradona.

6. FIFA and UEFA Gave Him the Awards He Didn't Deserve

Maybe even he felt ashamed that FIFA gifted him this award?

UEFA, and especially FIFA, are often accused of favoring specific teams and players. Unfortunately, sometimes that's obvious when we study their relations with Maradona and Pelé. The Argentine was even unjustly disqualified from the 1994 FIFA World Cup and often snubbed, as he openly criticized the organization. On the other hand, the Brazilian had way better treatment, and FIFA heads named him the best player ever, even though the public had chosen Maradona.

Leo Messi is even in a better situation, as UEFA and FIFA are giving him special treatment. Therefore, he won several important individual trophies, even though it was apparent he didn't deserve them. Messi became the best player of the World Cup twice, and to this day, it's hard to explain why. In 2014, he was invisible during the elimination phase, and in 2022, Mbappe was a class above him. Finally, Emiliano Martínez brought them the title, saving them twice on penalties. These decisions often make him enemies with his fans and his colleagues. Finally, what about these scandalous tweets by FIFA? Well, at least they confirm what we said.

5. Lack of National Team Success

Unfortunately, Argentina had many more games like this with Messi

In 2022, Messi finally became the World Cup champion, as another proof of his immortality. Yet, his only other important trophy was Copa América in 2021. Therefore, he won only two major national team tournaments in 11 tries! That's especially appalling for Copa América, which is way easier to win than the European Championship. That's because teams don't have to qualify for the competition, while Brazil and Argentina are always the top favorites. Furthermore, Copa América often involves weak guest nations, including Costa Rica, Haiti, Panama, or Jamaica.

It's not much better for Leo at the World Cup. Even though Argentina always had an excellent team, it took him five tries to finally win it. Even then, it happened as his team had an easy draw and won twice on penalties. Yet, many will remember that Argentina also suffered numerous humiliating defeats in the same period. The debacle against Saudi Arabia and heavy defeats to Germany and Croatia first come to mind.

4. He Always Plays for the Top Teams

That's not very professional

Since his beginnings, Leo Messi has never experienced playing for weak, average, or even above-average teams. Instead, he was surrounded by world-class players in his Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain years. Finally, his national team is consistently among the top favorites in every competition. Thus, claiming that his contribution was the only thing that made the difference would be highly ignorant. Therefore, it's easy to argue that Leo had more of the world's best by his side than any of his rivals.

Is it even fair to compare him to other GOAT favorites, including Maradona? El Pibe always looked for a challenge, as he spent his best years in Napoli. Napoli was winning Serie A and international trophies with him, but before and decades after, they were mediocre. Plus, he single-handedly won the World Cup in 1986, while Messi was way past his prime in 2022. Yet, Barcelona has significantly improved since he left, and Paris Saint Germain is degrading with him. Yes, other excellent players often play for great teams. Still, among GOAT candidates, Messi had it easiest.

3. He Isn't a Great Leader

Where was he that day?

Despite all the talent, Messi isn't the on-field general. When the result is rough, he often disappears and loses confidence. Consequently, his teammates react negatively, which creates drama. For someone who has never played for an average or weak team, Messi has too many heavy defeats. The one against Bayern Munich will always haunt him.

While everyone can have a bad day, a great player can't be so weak-spirited when things don't look great. Instead, he needs to work even harder and sets an example. While Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates every goal like it's the most important ever and has an incredible winning mentality, sometimes we can't remember if Messi played in some crucial games. Furthermore, he twice quit the national team, which was immature and ridiculous.

2. He Played in Only One of the Top Leagues

He failed PSG whenever they needed him in the Champions League

About 50 or 60 years ago, players were expected to stay in one club or league, as Pelé did. Yet, today, superstars can easily switch clubs and countries, searching for new challenges. However, Messi chose to play it safe in a league where Real and Barcelona dominate 95% of the time. When he was practically forced to leave, no one was surprised that he chose Paris Saint-Germain. Playing for, by far, the best team in France with Neymar, Mbappe, and other high-quality cast presents a no-risk route. Even then, his performance in such an average league varied, while PSG wasn't even close to winning the Champions League. Furthermore, it's astonishing that he hasn't won the competition since the 2014-15 season. Since then, he has been in the semifinals only once!

It seems that every other GOAT candidate had it harder, as they've proven themselves in at least two of the best leagues. While Maradona showed his talent in Spain and Italy, Cristiano Ronaldo dominated in Spain, England, and Italy. Instead, Messi chose big money in PSG, even though he could have easily found a place in England, Italy, or Germany. Many defended his decision to stay in Barcelona, citing his loyalty. However, what happened after proves he's not looking for a challenge.

1. Because GOAT Comparison Doesn't Make Sense

His last Champions League trophy came when he was only 27!

How do you really compare people from different eras? Whenever someone says how great Leo Messi is, they forget all the benefits he had. Unlike Pelé or Maradona, he has all the blessings of the modern era. The medicine, training regime, diet, equipment, and everything else is way better than it was half a century ago. Unfortunately, even the rules weren't favoring top players back then. Thus, Pelé suffered a lot during the 1966 World Cup, and Maradona wasn't doing much better as referees failed to protect them.

Furthermore, Messi had a chance to develop at Barcelona at the age of 12. Meanwhile, Pelé and Maradona stayed in the gutters of Brazil and Argentina. It sounds incredible, but Maradona went to Europe only at 22! Yet, at the time, there were not many football academies that could discover super-talented kids and provide them with everything. In that sense, many even feel that Messi should have won more trophies. Only a single World Cup and four Champions Leagues for someone given all on a silver platter don't sound like much.

If you love Messi to death, we know we won't change much about how you feel about him. Yet, these arguments prove that his GOAT status is highly disputable. Nevertheless, we can all agree that Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo gave us one of the best eras in football history. Thus, with so much talent and legendary goals, his legacy will live forever. Therefore, we should appreciate how lucky we were to watch him.

Do you still believe that Messi is the greatest ever? Name your top five in the comments below!

Cover photo: YouTube screenshot



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