“Same Status as Michael Jordan”: Legendary Soccer Star Makes Massive Claim on ‘Alien’ Lionel Messi

Published 06/25/2022, 12:16 AM EDT

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No one quite dominates the basketball scene such as Michael Jordan. Back in his prime, he made the world go crazy with his flashy dunks and insane clutch shots. Not many athletes have been able to reach that kind of status in their careers. However, a few have come up over the years. Soccer star Lionel Messi became a global icon when he burst onto the scene with Barcelona. And his former teammate feels he is on the same level as MJ.

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At first glance, Messi looks like a simple short player on the soccer field. But the magic in his feet only starts when he touches the ball. The former Barcelona player made major headlines when he scored a record 91 goals in a single season with Barcelona. Like His Airness, Messi has a huge trophy cabinet with 40 in his collection. Nothing he has done on the field is short of nearly impossible and the 35-year-old has not slowed down.

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Now, on the occasion of his 35th birthday, his former teammate Carlos Puyol said he has never seen any player like Messi on the soccer field.

Is Lionel Messi on the same level as Michael Jordan?

Throughout their careers, Lionel Messi and Michael Jordan do have a lot in common. MJ led the Chicago Bulls dynasty to six titles. Similarly, Messi was the face of the iconic Barcelona team and even dominated the race for the Ballon d’Or against arguably his only competition at the time, Cristiano Ronaldo. Dazzling with the ball at his feet, Messi embarrassed defenders left, right, and center. And his lethal left foot is arguably capable of putting the ball in the back of the net from any angle.

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Playing with him and watching him closely for a number of years, Puyol himself hadn’t seen anyone like him. The Spaniard is among legendary company and has even shared the pitch with some of the greatest soccer players of all time. However, he believes Messi is an ‘alien’ and is of the same status as Michael Jordan himself.

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Puyol said: “Leo Messi is far above any other player I have seen. He is the best soccer player in history, an alien. He has the same status as Michael Jordan.”

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The soccer field is no different from the basketball floor when it comes to the GOAT debate. Messi and Ronaldo are the two spearheads in the race while Jordan and LeBron James likely take it in basketball. When it comes to Messi, despite not having the gift of height, he worked hard for everything else.

The Argentian created a legacy with Barcelona and his national team, Argentina, as well. Messi has done all and more to earn his place among the greats of football. And many have him on top of the mountain. Messi’s legacy will likely remain forever on the soccer field.

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Do you think Lionel Messi and Michael Jordan are on the same level? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar

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Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.
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Edited by:

Veer Badani

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