Writer: David Seastrunk

With the World Cup inching closer and closer one of the 2014 finalist’s found themselves on the outside looking in. That was until the likes of Lionel Messi had yet another hat trick and yet another performance that couldn’t have been scripted more beautifully.

Argentina was on the brink of elimination and with one game remaining to qualify for the 2018 World Cup they were to face that of a lesser opponent in Ecuador. Or so they thought, with only 38 seconds gone by Ecuador had already found the back of the net and Argentina was staring elimination dead in the eye. Argentina needed a win to advance and only a win. Quickly coming to reality the heroics of Lionel Messi decided to write his own history books.

12 minutes later Messi nets the equalizer on an assist from Angel Di Maria. With the fate of an entire nation on his back he nets home another just 9 minutes later.

cuador v Argentina - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers : News Photo

(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Yet another masterpiece by the great Lionel Messi. Forcing his way into the conversation of the greatest player of all time. Are his career accomplishments enough to crown him the greatest? Does he still need a World Cup title to ultimately give him that crown. With the likes of Pele winning 3 World Cup titles and Diego Maradona, fellow Argentinian legend, winning one. Many critics want to see Messi win a World Cup. Messi led his team to the World Cup final in 2014 and with his squad not playing as well as they did then it is going to be tough to replicate that outcome.

It’s tough to say if he is the greatest of all time because the era’s of world soccer are different in many ways but I think it is safe to say of this generation he is the greatest. Compared to his closest competitor and La Liga rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Here is a list of stats comparing the two over their careers. (Including Friendlies)

Goals

Assist

Games Played

Ratio Goals Scored to Matches Played

Ballon d’Or

Messi

583

235

719

.81

5

Ronaldo

615

200

874

.70

4

Statistically Messi has proven he’s been slightly better. Where he separates himself from other players is the ability to create and make everyone around him so astoundingly better. He has won 29 trophies with Barcelona, including 8 La Liga titles, 4 UEFA Champions League titles, and 5 Copas del Rey. Ronaldo has won 13 trophies, including 2 La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, 3 Champions League titles and 2 UEFA Super Cups.

With the upcoming 2018 World Cup this could possibly be their last chance at getting a championship. The two will give it their all in hopes off winning for their countries and cementing their name in history for the only thing they’ve yet to accomplish.

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