Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has declared he’d take Lionel Messi over Diego Maradona after winning the World Cup with the former, citing his ‘special’ bond with the PSG star.
Messi ended a 36-year World Cup drought for his country as he scored twice in the final against France, and was awarded the tournament’s Golden Ball as he helped drag a slow-burning Argentina side to glory.
And despite Maradona’s legendary status in his home nation, it’s Messi that many would now consider to be the country’s greatest-ever product – including his coach Scaloni.
Lionel Messi and Lionel Scaloni helped Argentina win their first World Cup since 1986 in Qatar
Diego Maradona led Argentina to glory in 1986 beating West Germany 3-2 in the final
‘If I have to pick one [of Messi and Maradona], I’ll take Leo, as I have something special with him,’ Scaloni told ‘El Partidazo’ on Cadena COPE.
‘He’s the best of all time, although Maradona was fantastic as well.’
The 44-year-old also described the ease of coaching the Argentina talisman – who finished with seven goals and three assists in Qatar – as there’s apparently little you can actually teach the diminutive star.
Messi holds the World Cup trophy next to Scaloni as the team arrives in Buenos Aires
‘Coaching Messi isn’t difficult. Technically, you cannot correct him, but you can with certain situations relating to pressing or you can explain an attacking method to him.
‘In terms or pressing, winning the ball and when the heat is on, he’s number one.’
Messi returned to the pitch last week for PSG for the first time since the World Cup, scoring for his side in a 2-0 win vs. Angers as he restarted his strong domestic campaign.
Still, while Messi and his Argentina teammates are back with their clubs, Scaloni won’t soon forget what they achieved in Qatar.
Messi scored two goals in the final – and seven in total in Qatar – as Argentina beat France
‘The World Cup was a movie and an incredible journey,’ he said.
‘The key to the whole tournament was having enjoyed it, knowing how difficult it was and that any team could win it.’
Messi’s PSG will face off against a Saudi league All-Star team headlined by Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday.