Lionel Scaloni, the coach of Argentina, who won the World Cup, has stated that Lionel Messi has surpassed Diego Maradona as the greatest player of all time.
“If I have to choose one I choose Leo, I have something special with him. He is the best of all time although Maradona was also great,” Scaloni told Spanish radio station Cope on Tuesday.
Argentina fans have always preferred Maradona to Messi, but after Messi led the team to their first World Cup victory since Maradona helped them win it in 1986, attitudes appear to be changing.
When Scaloni was named Argentina coach in 2018, the forward was taking a break from international duty following the disastrous World Cup in Russia. Scaloni also revealed that he made it a priority to talk to Messi.
“The first thing we did was have a video call with Messi. He said he was honoured and the first thing we said to him was ‘Come back. We’ll wait for you’. That’s what we did and eight months later he came and found an incredible group,” Scaloni added.
“Coaching Messi is not difficult. You cannot correct him on a technical level but sometimes you can instruct him to press or to attack in a certain way. When he smells blood he is the number one.”
Scaloni also defended his goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez after he was criticized for his overly enthusiastic celebrations of Argentina’s victory, such as carrying a toy baby with Kylian Mbappe’s