Biggest Difference Between Lionel Messi & Diego Maradona’s Career Revealed- “He Got Hit Probably 20 Times More”

Published 12/14/2023, 2:52 AM EST

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Comparing Lionel Messi with his legendary Argentine predecessor Diego Maradona is an endless gesture in soccer circles. After Messi’s World Champion-crowning at the 2022 World Cup, many believe he has a clear edge against Maradona. However, there are a few who beg to differ and still think Lionel Messi is yet to share the same table. Hence, it is quite necessary to examine if the two Argentines are comparable at all. In a recent conversation, Andres Cantor laid bare the stark contrasts in soccer of the Maradona era and the Messi era.

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While doing so, the experienced analyst didn’t shy away from putting it all out there interestingly without even taking a side!

Veteran sports commentator answers an age-old burning question

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Andres Cantor had a candid conversation on the recent episode of CBS Sports Golazo’s ‘Kicking It’ podcast. After Cantor revealed how big of a Maradona fan he is, host Charlie Davies asked him if Lionel Messi has surpassed the former. “I think you cannot compare. I can’t say that Diego was better than Pele or Pele was better than Diego. Everyone played in their own time,” said Cantor. “Diego played in an era of football in an era where he got hit probably 20 times more than Messi got hit in his career in Barcelona, in Europe,” he added.

Substantiating his distinction of soccer eras, Cantor commented on the evolution soccer pitches have seen. According to him, Maradona played at a time when soccer fields were uneven or even muddy. He recalled the Argentine’s phenomenal 1986 goal against England in which he had to tame the ball that bounced like a ‘rabbit’. Whereas, the likes of Lionel Messi play on the most sophisticated of surfaces where one can unleash their level best. Later, Cantor told the hosts a funny story, revealing his love for the 36-year-old.

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Andres Cantor tells a warm Lionel Messi story from his life

For the Argentines, winning the FIFA World Cup is the biggest achievement. Therefore, until 2022, Lionel Messi was always second to Maradona for the Argentines. Andres Cantor too thought on a similar line. However, months after the 36-year-old’s World Cup win, Cantor thought the former now shared the same table as Diego Maradona. Subsequently, Cantor changed his phone’s Maradona wallpaper to an image of Lionel Messi.

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To this date, Andres Cantor has been keeping the image of that ‘kid’ from Rosario as his phone’s wallpaper. From the famed commentator’s candid account, it is very evident that he has nothing but the utmost respect for Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona. This perhaps stems from his clear-cut understanding of the way the beautiful game has evolved over the years.

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Written by:

Krishna Prasad M

755Articles

One take at a time

My journey as a sports aficionado was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed me, as I fell in love with the beautiful game. From cheering on Real Madrid to channeling an inner analyst with my pals during every other World Cup and kicking the ball timelessly, soccer is now a therapy for me with boundless conversations.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz

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