Pep Guardiola has once again branded Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer of all time after Argentina’s World Cup triumph in Qatar.
Messi, 35, finally won the prize as Argentina beat France on penalties after an enthralling 120 minutes in the final of the World Cup.
Speaking in the aftermath of Argentina’s first World Cup triumph since the Diego Maradona-inspired victory in 1986, Guardiola hailed his former player – while also congratulating one of his current stars, Julian Alvarez.
‘Everyone has an opinion but nobody can doubt that he is there, with the greatest of all time,’ said the Manchester City boss. ‘For me I said many times, he is the best, but it will be difficult to understand.
‘A player can appear and compete with what he has done in the last 50 years to 70 years, but the people who saw Pele or [Alfredo] Di Stefano or Maradona, they can say their favourite.
‘In their opinions they are sentimental, you know? But on the other side, if he [Messi] had not won the World Cup, my opinion about what he has done for world football, it wouldn’t have changed absolutely anything. Of course, for him it’s the final achievement of an incredible career.’