Lionel Messi has long been a figurehead of football and many consider him the greatest player of all time. His successful career peaked last year when he led Argentina to the World Cup title. However, recent suspensions from PSG and rumors of a move to Saudi Arabia hanging over his head have many fans questioning the direction of Messi’s future.
Messi’s move to the Arab country, previously accused of sport-washing over their human rights record, is a disappointing end to his illustrious career, especially in Europe. The respected player scored 31 goals in 71 appearances for PSG and was expected to help the team win the Champions League, but they were defeated in the last 16 rounds.
Barcelona were eager to bring Messi back to Camp Nou, where he had previously won ten La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns before leaving in 2021. Despite their efforts, Messi’s move to Saudi Arabia appears to be a “done deal,” a source close to the negotiations told AFP. However, it is uncertain which club the experienced athlete will join.
Undoubtedly, Saudi Arabia now has two of the world’s most outstanding footballers in their domestic league, and Ronaldo also plays for Al Nassr. While the move has raised some eyebrows, the country is fortunate to have two of modern football’s greatest players in their ranks.
Messi’s record-breaking career has been crowned with 37 club trophies, seven Ballon d’Or awards and six European Golden Boots. He has also secured a Copa America title and an Olympic gold medal. In his final World Cup appearance, Messi scored twice as Argentina battled to a 3-3 draw before securing their victory with a penalty shootout.
Messi’s “GOAT” status has long been debated by football fans around the world, with the answer purely subjective. Nevertheless, his silverware collection far outweighs that of his rivals, Pele and Diego Maradona. While Pele won three World Cup triumphs, his club career pales in comparison to Messi’s trophy cabinet. Maradona, on the other hand, won only one World Cup and never won the European Cup, appearing mainly in Barcelona and Napoli during his European club career.
Maradona’s former team-mate, Jorge Burruchaga, is hesitant to compare players across generations, but has praised Messi for his illustrious achievements. He stated that Messi is the greatest player of his time and will be remembered as one of the greatest athletes in history.
As mentioned earlier, Messi has yet to finish his international football career, which has scored 102 goals in 174 games. The Copa America is tentatively scheduled for next year in the United States and will provide a fitting swan song for Messi if he chooses to retire.
In summary, despite the relative disappointment surrounding Messi’s PSG career and his possible transfer to Saudi Arabia, there is no denying the impact he has had on football and the stature he has held as one of the greatest athletes of all time.
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