Although Lionel is the best, I’ll stay with Diego

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It is very easy for me to decide. If I have to choose between Diego Armando Maradona and Lionel Andres Messi, I’m left without thinking about it Diego.

But not by comparing them, what sense would it make? Both left-handed, short and great at dribbling; one more brash, extroverted and even problematic, and the other gives you a certain tenderness of his naivety, but he is equally a beast when it comes to winning. Both took their beloved Argentina by the hand to two Finals of World Cup, already taking into account the one of this Sunday in the lusail.

Both are stars that have illuminated the land of soccer, at different times, and for me they are worth the same.

I’ll just stick with the first one I saw and that struck me from the first moment.

I remember that one night, the year of the Spanish World Cup began, 1982, we were returning from visiting our grandmother and we got stuck in an unusual traffic jam, on Calzada de Tlalpan. “And now, what happened?” my mother asked, and with my father’s response that feeling began that no other footballer has aroused in me, well, our Hugo a bit, when he left the Pumas and went to conquer the world… “Sorry, I did not calculate the Maradona effect well.”

I no longer remember if I managed to arrive in time to see him on television, in that victory of Mouth 2-1 over America, with one of Diego, but I do have clear Sunday mornings that first I saw Maradona break it with Napoli and then Hugo with Atlético and Real Madrid.

He was not Mexican, although he liked to stop by our land to eat a good cut, visit a certain actress and greet good friends; He was a guy who amazed you every time he handled the ball, in an unimportant game or playing a World Championship. He always laughed, but when he got angry, be careful, before losing his head, he would make the person in front lose it and if they don’t believe me, ask those rivals, from José Luis Núñez, former president of Barça, who hired him and then chose to fight with him, Even English, German, Belgian or Korean players who tried to stop him at any cost in Mexico 86.

But I stop. Today it is about you reading why Leo Messi is better than the immortal Diego.

The easy thing is that he won more titles than Maradona, including seven Ballon d’Ors; who played more World Cup matches; that he won a Copa América (Diego, no) last year in Brazil and that, if he is crowned on Sunday, he will have more goals in these events (11) and speaking of his best participation, here in Qatar, Lionel already has the same five goals that Diego scored in 86 and with the one this Tuesday against Julián Álvarezhe got two assists from Diego’s five in our Mexican land.

Finally, if Argentina lifts the Cup on Sunday, both would have ended their career with two Finals played and a world title per head.

Undoubtedly, in results, chivalry, image and durability, Messi is much better than Maradona. But in his heart he does not command himself and every time I see Leo play, I am more sure that, no matter how much he wants to get closer to him with the football that he has shown in Qatar, Diego was much better playing with the ball. Imagine that.

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