The Brazil legend Rivaldo insisted that Lionel Messi is yet to reach the same level as Diego Maradona in the eyes of the Argentinean fans as he lacks international success.
Messi, who is considered to be one of the greatest in football, has won 23 major trophies with his club Barcelona. He is also the country’s top scorer but he has still to win a World Cup or any major trophies with Argentina.
Maradona is also regarded as one of the greatest ever footballer and also has a World Cup with his national side, Argentina. Maradona, who led the Albiceleste to a World Cup glory in 1986 is still the no-1 national hero for the Argentineans according to Rivaldo.
"Well Messi is already a legend for everything he has done at Barcelona and for football," Rivaldo told Goal during the Betfair road to Russia preview. "You can’t say anymore than that. Obviously, Argentina as a country had Maradona as their biggest star who won the World Cup.
"So maybe for Argentinians, Messi isn’t at the same level of legend as well because for the supporters of a country, it doesn’t matter what you have done for your club. Messi has won so many titles with Barcelona, the Champions League many times and La Liga.
"This is important for the supporters of the club but for the Argentinian people, it is important to win the World Cup. Of course, you can understand that because of all the football competitions the World Cup is the most important and it is the top prize.
"If you haven’t won that then people may perceive that you need to do so. I think that until Messi wins the World Cup, Argentinians won’t consider him as a legend at the same level as Maradona but I believe Messi is 100 per cent. He has done so much for club and country now.
“He is 100% now, he has got the quality and Argentina is playing well. Hopefully, he will get them to the final because maybe this is his last chance to do that. He may not be a legend for all Argentinian people but for football as a whole, he is already a legend.” Rivaldo concluded.