Arrigo Sacchi [2-time manager at Italian Serie A club AC Milan] has publicly argued that Lionel Messi may be “the best player in the world today” but will never be the greatest Argentine to ever play the game.
Image: Former Italy and AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi.
The former Italy manager says Messi lacks that talent, charisma and character of a true leader, as compared to Maradona who he called “unstoppable”.
According to AS, the former Real Madrid Director (2004-2005) spoke with La Nacion, saying: “Maradona and Di Stéfano were the two greatest players. Different, but the greatest. Maradona had more talent. Alfredo was just everywhere [on the pitch] at once.
“Messi is the best in the world today but he lacks the personality of Diego. Maradona could play anywhere.
“In Italy [during Maradona’s era] they did not play beautiful football. It may be a bit better now but Italian football is very difficult, possession is hard to maintain. Yet, Maradona had the edge in Italy and in Spain. Nobody could stop Maradona.”
Talking about Messi who made public his decision to quit the Argentine national team in June after a third lost at a final, Sacchi said the Barca star will change his mind.
“[Messi] doesn’t have enthusiasm [for Argentina] at the moment, but I understand that he will change his mind because he owes a debt to Argentina, so he must return. They can’t lose the best player in the world.”
Sacchi also denied the widely believed idea that Messi is the backbone of Barcelona’s triumphs in recent years. He said: “A team has the kind of potency that even Messi alone doesn’t have. Messi has won a lot more and with considerably more ease at Barcelona than with with Argentina.
“What’s missing? A clearly defined playing style.”
The 70-year-old also warned that Argentina’s failure comes from the fact that the team relies too much on the No. 10 who hardly stands up against the odds when times call for it.
“Argentina are always among the favorites but maybe they need more cohesion, more team spirit.”
In Sacchi’s opinion, though there has been a fierce rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo, the Portuguese star now has an edge over the Argentine. He says CR7’s recent achievement with his national team at the Euro 2016 placed him above Messi.
“Cristiano is the epitome of a great professional. He doesn’t have the same talent as Messi but he is an amazing player.
“Once I went to visit Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid and even before practice had begun Cristiano was there, working out in the dressing room, before the others had arrived. He has a lot of will and a huge appetite.”
Arrigo Sacchi [born 1 April 1946 in Fusignano) is an Italian retired football coach. He was twice manager of A.C. Milan (1987–1991, 1996–1997), with great success. He won the Serie A title in his 1987–88 debut season and then dominated European football by winning back to back European Cups in 1989 and 1990.
To this day, Milan are the last team that became European champions and successfully defended their title in the following season.
Image shows Ariggo Sacchi talking to a referee during the World Cup finals between Brazil and Italy.
From 1991 to 1996 he was head coach of Italy and led them to the World Cup Final in 1994, only to lose to Brazil in a penalty shoot-out.
Sacchi is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time and his Milan side (1987–1991) is widely regarded to be one of the greatest club sides to ever play the game, and by some to be the greatest of all time.