Inter Miami star Lionel Messi, recently edging past his rivals in the GOAT debate with World Cup glory in Qatar and the record eighth Ballon d’Or for being the best player of 2023, speaks volumes about his exceptionality. However, the settlement of the GOAT debate between the Argentine icon Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo remains inevitable.
Not only fans but also former players, teammates, new-generation stars, managers, and celebrities have all been part of this greatest rivalry debate over who’s better. One of Lionel Messi’s former teammates at Barcelona has opened up on this hot topic, sharing his perspective.
Pedro talks on Lionel Messi’s greatness
Lionel Messi led La Albiceleste to their third World Cup triumph in Qatar, concluding a 36-year-long wait to bring the cup to Argentina and surpassing the legacy of legendary Diego Maradona. He was adjudged the Golden Ball winner for his 7 goals and 3 assists during the World Cup campaign.
Messi paid a heartfelt tribute to Diego Maradona after receiving his eighth Ballon d’Or on October 30. The former Barcelona man joined MLS side Inter Miami this summer, following a successful two-season stint at PSG. The 36-year-old guided Miami to its first-ever trophy, the ‘leagues cup’ in August. He became the first MLS player to be honored with a France Football accolade.
Lazio forward and ex-Barcelona teammate Pedro recently gave an interview to Sports Italia, where he shared his stance on the Lionel Messi vs. Maradona debate, delivering his verdict on the GOAT discussion.
He said, “Messi. There is no comparison with Maradona. His numbers are incredible. In all eras of football, there have been many incredible players, such as Pele, Maradona, and Cruyff. But, for me, if I have to choose one, it is definitely Messi.”
Pedro and Lionel Messi’s partnership at Barcelona
Prior to the Argentina vs. Uruguay match, Messi was presented with a plaque and also reunited with Luis Suárez. Another one of his teammates from Barcelona was Pedro, a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010. The Spanish winger was an important figure under Pep Guardiola at Barça, where he and Messi emerged from the club’s youth set-up, forming a fierce partnership upfront.
Before moving to Chelsea in 2015, Pedro won 21 trophies, including five Spanish titles and three Champions League trophies, achieving two trebles in the seasons of 2010 and 2015. His personal stats include 99 goals and 62 assists in 321 appearances for the Catalans. Presently, he is playing in the Italian capital for Serie A club SS Lazio and has been a key contributor there as well.