A Racing Club star has witnessed all of the above greats in action, so it is healthy to offer an opinion on who should sit on top of the pile.

Messi is above Pele, Maradona, and Cruyff

Leo Messi is the best talent ever graced a football field, says Humberto Maschio, the Argentine ranking the Barca superstar above Pele, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, and Alfredo Di Stefano. A Racing Club star has witnessed all of the above greats in action, so it is healthy to offer an opinion on who should sit on top of the pile. For Maschio, Messi is an obvious choice, as the six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or raised his football above the standard set by those who went before him. Maschio told reporters: “I saw Di Stefano, Pele, Maradona, Cruyff – I saw them all. But Messi is the best. I ran into some of them myself, but I repeat, again, Messi is the best.” Maschio admits that Pele and Maradona’s likes were sports geniuses, but he still sees them as sitting in the shadow of the present-day superstar.

Leo has raised the bar for individual skills

Maschio added: “They were great players in their day, but the pace of the modern game is different. Just look at the goals Leo has scored. Messi doesn’t run much on serve, but it’s like the ball sticks to his feet when he needs it. I’ve seen players with incredible pace, but when they have the ball, they slow down. However, Leo is the opposite, and he does it in such a fantastic way.” Messi has raised the bar for individual skills throughout his fantastic career. Along with his excellent Ballon d’Or collection, the 33-year-old also has 10 LaLiga titles, and four Champions League crowns. He has maintained exceptional standards since he burst onto the scene as a gifted youngster and has scored 633 goals for Barcelona through 729 games.

Messi has recorded 70 efforts through 138 outings for Argentina but is still waiting for the first piece of the senior silverware at the international level. That is often used as evidence against being the best of all time. With Pele and Maradona having World Cup victories on their respective CVs. Still, it may be that Messi ends this debate when he is looking for more awards over the coming years.