Messi Voted as GOAT : Lionel Messi has been selected as the greatest ever footballer of all time by FourFourTwo Football Magazine.
There was no Ghanaian footballer mentioned on the list with George Weah as the only African player to appear on the ranking.
Diego Maradona , Cristiano Ronaldo , Pele and Zinedine Zidane finished 2nd , 3rd , 4th and 5th respectively.
FourFourTwo wrote in relation to Leo Messi :
The history books will laud Messi, and yet their limitations will do him a disservice. In 20 years, young football fans will read about a messianic figure whose brilliance stunned the world, shattered a litany of records and started an era of dominance… but not until they watch the videos will they get an idea of what they have missed.
The quantity of his goals pale in comparison with their beauty. The goal of the month may not even make his top 20, be it a solo run, a bending free-kick, a cheeky lob, a golf putt finish or a thunderous missile.
By now most know his story: how expensive medicine for a growth hormone deficiency led him from his home town Rosario to Barcelona, where his 2004 debut started an era of brilliance. He has been voted into the world’s top three players for 10 years, and in the top two for nine.
It’s one thing to reach the top, quite another to stay there. There are fans well into their 20s who have never known a world in which Messi is not spellbinding us on a weekly basis.
Only by evolution has Messi managed to maintain his level. The livewire dribbler has become a mature playmaker who now dictates play while still proving decisive in the final third. Never has Messi, now in his 30s, better balanced playmaking, dribbling and goalscoring. As Javier Mascherano has said, he is three players in one. You could argue that one of the greatest goalscorers of all time is also the best passer, and you would not lack evidence to support your claim.
Yet Messi is not finished. A World Cup next month presents another shot at glory with Argentina. His legs slower but his mind still sharp.
In the meantime, pundits, fans and writers will try to express his greatness with words and metaphors. They will all fail, as will the article you are reading now. The best we can do is listen to Pep Guardiola, who said: “Don’t write about him, don’t try to describe him. Just watch him.”
Career highlight: Days after criticism of his aerial game, Messi steered a looping header over Edwin van der Sar that sealed Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League Final. It’s one of his personal favourites, he once told FFT.
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