The debate on a better Argentine player between Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona often brings spirited debates.
Former Paraguayan goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert provided an outsider’s perspective in an interview with TyC Sports (via Marca) ahead of Argentina’s FIFA World Cup Qualifying fixture against Paraguay.
The 56-year-old highlighted the differences between the two players but stated that Messi would be his pick if he had to choose one.
“Once I told a colleague of yours who asked me if I would stop Messi in a heads-up, and I said yes, I would stop everything. The journalist asked me how I would do it and, I answered: Control I have it from the Playstation, I stop it when I want. It is the only way to stop Lionel,” Chilavert said.
“In Argentina, many put that Maradona is better than Messi. For me, Maradona was predictable and, Messi is unpredictable. That is the difference.”
Chilavert also went into detail about what separates Messi from the likes of Maradona.
“Lionel has the ball tied to his foot, he plays so naturally and if he faces you hand in hand, you don’t know whether to run away to reduce him or stay because you know that there is always a new technique to what a normal player is. It is very difficult, for example in the free throws that he executes with such precision at the angles that I want to applaud him,” Chilavert said.
“When Messi is going to take a free-kick, I have to try to guess it to get there, but when Maradona kicked them, for example, when I had to face him with Vélez and that famous free-kick outside the barrier. I already knew that he was going to hit the outside because of how it stopped. Then I fly and get it out.”
Maradona has a FIFA World Cup, which Messi has yet to win, and will possibly have a chance to win one next year in Qatar.
By Brian Ayatta