Angel Di Maria Claims Soccer Owes a World Cup to Lionel Messi

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Ángel Di María believes that his Argentina teammate Lionel Messi is owed a World Cup trophy for his services to the sport.
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Former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Ángel Di María believes that his Argentina teammate Lionel Messi is owed a World Cup trophy for his services to the sport.

Di María told Argentine outlet Olé (via Sport24), prior to La Albiceleste's match against Italy, that the 'amazing and unforgettable' Messi deserved to have a World Cup winners medal for all of his achieved on and off the pitch.

"There is no doubt that football owes a Mundial to Leo, for all he has done and succeeded in his life," the PSG star said. "I can tell my daughters: I was there, I played with him."

Both Di María and Messi were involved for the Argentina national team on Friday, although the Barcelona star remained an unused substitute against the Azzurri.

Second half goals from Éver Banega and Manuel Lanzini settled the game for Jorge Sampaoli's side at the Etihad Stadium.

However, despite having Di María singing his praises, Argentine legend Gabriel Batistuta has been playing down Messi's legacy and stating that the 30-year-old will never reach the same heights as Diego Maradona.


El Diegois widely regarded as the best player of all time and was voted as the joint FIFA player of the 20th Century alongside Pelé.

Although Batigol did admit that Messi is probably as good technically as Maradona, the former Roma and Fiorentina striker claimed that the Barcelona star lacked the charisma to reach El Diego'slegendary status.

"Diego was the best ever,” Batistuta told Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia). "Diego also represented Argentinians in many things, not just football. He has charisma, talent and rare invention.

"Messi, even if he’s technically as good - or maybe even better - can’t surpass him. Lionel doesn’t have Maradona’s charisma.

"There were doubts about Messi in the past, in one way or another, but now there’s no longer a debate. Technically, he’s perfect; he’s scored more goals than anyone.

"But for me, he’s not Diego, and he probably never will be."