Friday, December 1, 2023

If Messi was to be born in India…: Virender Sehwag

Former opening batsman Virender Sehwag took to his official social media handle and up a hilarious post that indicated what would happen to Lionel Messi if he were born in India. As seen below, Sehwag put up an image of the Argentine captain in a police uniform to suggest that he would immediately be approached by the Indian government for a post.

After finally winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 trophy, Lionel Messi made his strongest case yet to be considered football’s greatest player of all time. It will never be possible to say definitively, though, even after Argentina’s 4-2 penalty shootout victory over France on Sunday in the final at Lusail Stadium.

Messi was his country’s inspiration throughout the tournament in Qatar and scored twice in the final that finished 3-3 after extra time. Kylian Mbappe certainly made Messi work for a golden trophy that had eluded him throughout his storied career. The France forward scored a hat-trick as the defending champions came back from 2-0 down and then evened the match again after Messi made it 3-2 in extra time. But this was Messi’s night and his FIFA World Cup to win.

However, when it comes to the ‘GOAT’ debate, for some, no one will ever surpass Pele, who won the FIFA World Cup on three occasions with Brazil. Even in Messi’s homeland of Argentina, Diego Maradona remains, for many, the country’s ultimate footballing icon after captaining the national team to the 1986 FIFA World Cup title.

And for the past 15 years or so, Messi has had a personal rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo just to establish himself as the finest player of his generation. Competition is fierce when it comes to determining the greatest of all time, or the GOAT, as it has come to be known. It can come down to the smallest of margins that separate players of such brilliance.

Messi’s failure to win the sport’s biggest prize has always counted against him when measuring his achievements against Pele and Maradona. The same goes for Ronaldo. Messi is a seven-time winner of the Ballon d’Or award for the best player in the world and lifted club soccer’s biggest prize, the Champions League trophy, on four occasions.

He ended his wait for a first major trophy with his country at last year’s Copa America. The FIFA World Cup, however, is the ultimate measure of greatness, and Pele and Maradona secured immortality with inspirational performances on that stage. And now the Argentine captain has his hands on the FIFA World Cup trophy as well, thereby potentially ending the ‘GOAT’ debate.

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