Lionel Messi has nothing to prove for Argentina as he bids to win his first title for his country in Copa America final against Brazil, as coach Lionel Scaloni insists ‘win or don’t win. He will continue being the best footballer in history’
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni has insisted Lionel Messi has nothing to prove for his country ahead of their Copa America final against Brazil and is the best footballer ever regardless of the result.
The Albiceleste play Brazil in the South American competition showpiece at 1am BST in the early hours of Sunday morning, with a potential first ever title for his country on the line.
But Scaloni told Marca that the country’s captain, talisman, record appearance maker and record scorer Messi’s place in history is secured, whether they win or lose.
He said: ‘Win or don’t win, he will continue being the best footballer in history, he doesn’t need to win a title to demonstrate it.
‘Obviously, we want to win because we haven’t made all this effort not to break the bubble.
‘In the background, whether Leo wins or doesn’t, he has already demonstrated that he is the best in history, and even the opponents recognise it.’
But Scaloni (right) has insisted Messi has already demonstrated himself to be the best player of all time, regardless of the Copa America final winners between Argentina and Brazil on Sunday
The 34-year-old Barcelona forward is widely viewed as one of the best players of all time and has enjoyed a highly decorated career at club level.
However, for Argentina Messi only has an Olympic gold medal from 2008 – essentially an U23 tournament – and an U20 World Cup win, along with two Superclasico de las Americas titles.
His critics say Cristiano Ronaldo winning Euro 2016 with Portugal, compatriot Diego Maradona winning the 1986 World Cup and Pele’s record three World Cup triumphs elevate them above Messi as the best player ever, a claim Scaloni refutes.