"Maradona was a phenomenon, and I know that Messi is too", says Sacchi
Former Italian manager Arrigo Sacchi says Lionel Messi emerged from the shadow of Diego Maradona following Argentina's World Cup triumph in Qatar.
The 35-year-oldLionel Messi
scored seven goals and provided three assists during the2022 World Cup
and won the Golden Ball award.
Messi also scored twice duringArgentina
’s 3-3 draw against France in the final. Argentina won the game 4-2 on penalties.
Arrigo Sacchi who guided Italy to the 1994 World Cup final believes Messi finally emerged from the shadow of Diego Maradona.
"When Messi raised the World Cup to the sky, his eyes were wet with tears,"
Sacchi wrote in La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I thought of Leo's entire journey, of what he won with Barcelona, of his dribbling, of his goals, of his acrobatics, of the many Ballon d'Ors he placed on the bulletin board.
"Then, however, there was that sort of curse which he could not shrug off. Too often he was forced to play with the shadow of Maradona weighing on his shoulders.
"Too often they asked him what he could not give, and then he felt sad. He felt the responsibility to give happiness to an entire people and the fact of not succeeding in it pained him.
"Now all of Argentina is at his feet. I don't feel like saying whether or not he has reached Maradona's level.
"I don't agree with these comparisons between champions who belong to different eras of football.
"What I know is that Maradona was a phenomenon, and I knew him well, and I know that Messi is too, albeit in a different way."
Messi made his 26th appearance in the World Cup on Sunday to become the player with the most appearances at World Cups.
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