Rio Ferdinand: If Messi plays like this, Maradona is still Argentina's greatest

Lionel Messi Argentina

The former Manchester United man believes that, even if Argentina win the World Cup, Lionel Messi's form means Diego Maradona will go down as the country's no.1.

Rio Ferdinand says he was disappointed in Lionel Messi's semi-final performance against the Netherlands and wants to see more from him in the final.

Many criticised the Barcelona man for a game in which he did not match his usual high standards, with Dutch defenders such as Ron Vlaar ensuring Messi was not allowed enough space to do damage.

And Ferdinand believes the 27-year-old's inability to make a difference will ensure he does not go down in history as Argentina's best ever player.

As Opta stats show, however, Messi is simply a victim of his own success.

  TeamPosDribbles WonPass Accuracy (%)Successful Final-Third PassesAppsMins
Lionel Messi Argentina FW 10 80.00 14 1 120

Against the Netherlands, Messi had 10 dribbles and completed 14 successful final-third passes, also completing 80% of his passes.

The Barcelona ace was unable to win Argentina the game in 120 minutes but coolly dispatched his penalty in the shootout, suggesting that critics may be expecting a little too much from the little Maestro on a game-to-game basis.

Ferdinand does admit, however, that Messi is capable of winning his country the World Cup if he alone plays at his best, although he believes Germany are the far superior team overall ahead of the final.


Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch