Lionel Messi vs Diego Armando Maradona: Goals, Titles, Awards

Lionel Messi vs Diego Maradona

Lionel Messi vs Diego Armando Maradona: It could be said that we are facing one of the most open and exciting football debates, Lionel Messi vs Diego Armando Maradona. Two absolute football legends, both Argentines, both geniuses with a ball at their feet.

It is almost impossible to convince people on this subject; people seem determined to be ‘Team Diego’ or ‘Team Leo’. As we like challenges, we are going to analyze the careers of both footballers to shed some light on this entertaining debate about two of the best players in history.

Lionel Messi vs Diego Armando Maradona:

We go with the comparison of the two most important Argentines of the last century, both in individual and collective numbers. Even with the data in hand, surely you will continue to be Maradona or Messi, but there is the magic. Think what you want, that’s what football is for!

Individual Titles and Awards:

How many goals has Lionel Messi scored in his entire career?Lionel messi
In a matter of pure numbers, Messi is the clear winner. He has won 10 league titles to Maradona’s three and 24 national trophies to Diego’s eight. Messi also has 10 continental and international club crowns for Maradona’s.

In the national team, Messi has not won a senior title while Maradona has won the World Cup. In total, including the FIFA recognized youth tournaments, Messi has won 36 team titles. Maradona won 10.

Maradaona’s Goal of the Century in the 86 World Cup against England

When it comes to the top individual honors, it’s very difficult to compare the pair. Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award six times, setting a record that only Cristiano Ronaldo (5) comes close to.

Keep in mind that Maradona was not eligible for soccer’s most prestigious personal award until 1995, when the rules were changed to allow non-Europeans to challenge.

By then, Maradona was 35 years old. Soccer’s other esteemed individual honor – the FIFA World Player of the Year – wasn’t created until 1991, when Maradona was 31 years old. Messi has twice won the FIFA award.

Messi has won 36 titles for the 10 that Maradona won, although one of them is a World Cup.


Similarly, Messi has been named LaLiga’s Best Player eight times. Keep in mind that the equivalent of this award in Serie A was not created until 1997, long after Maradona left. No one doubts that he would have taken it out of the street.

Both players won the Ballon d’Or at the FIFA World Cup, under different circumstances. One did it after proclaiming himself world champion while Messi after losing the final against Germany.

One of the distinctions that at the moment only ‘Fluff’ has is that of having been named FIFA Player of the Century in 2000 together with Pele.

Longevity As a Footballer:

Both Maradona and Messi were precocious stars, although Diego reached a world-class level at a younger age. He was the youngest debutant in history in the Argentine First Division at the age of 15 and received his first call-up to the Argentine team at the age of 16. At age 20 he had already scored more than 100 goals for the older club and broke the world transfer record at age 21 when he joined FC Barcelona .

Messi made his debut for Barcelona at age 17 and in Argentina at 18, although he did not become a regular starter for either team until he was 19 years old. At age 20 he had already scored 26 goals for Barcelona, ​​so his potential scorer had not yet been unlocked.

Maradona stood out before, Messi has remained better after


The two Argentines were consistently world-class throughout their twenties, although Messi has been well over thirty. Since his 30th birthday, Messi has scored more than 100 goals, winning his sixth Ballon d’Or and lifting two league titles. In fact, the ‘Pulga’ is considered the best player in the history of Barcelona, both by statistics and by titles.

The professional and personal life of Maradona after 30 decomposed after drug – related problems and some outstanding season at Sevilla FC, before they will support the end of his career with an injury in Argentina.

Going Figures and Incidence in The Game:

The flea is way above Maradona when it comes to overall goals. Messi scored more than 700 goals for his club and his country – only six players in history have more – and has won a record six European golden boots. Leo has countless other goalscorer records, including being the all-time top scorer for Barcelona, ​​Argentina and LaLiga. He also holds the European record for the most goals scored in a single club season (73) and in a calendar year (91).

Maradona scored 357 goals in total during his career, more than half that of Messi. Diego was Napoli’s all-time top scorer for nearly 30 years until he was overtaken by Marek Hamsik. He was the top scorer in his league six times, while Messi has won the Pichichi Trophy six times. Maradona scored 34 times in Argentina’s 91 games, while Messi has 70 in 138.

Leo has scored more than 700 goals for Maradona’s 357. Despite the difference in matches, the scoring average is on the side of the ‘Flea’


However, it must be recognized that, in addition to having played 200 fewer games, Maradona played a more capital and profound role in the most prolific years of his career with Messi. At Napoli, he ranked primarily as an attacking midfielder behind two forwards, but regularly dropped into his own field to initiate attacks.

Maradona also played in a very defensive Italian league, whereas in Serie A there were only 16 teams for most of his seven years there (the League has 20) and there were far fewer matches in European competition before the advent of the League. of Champions in the 1990s.


Messi has few rivals for the title of best man from a single club in football history. Certainly, no one can boast of the levels of consistency Messi has shown in Barcelona for the better part of 15 years.

Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, argues that proving himself in different teams, leagues, and settings is a greater barometer of one’s true greatness. Some will find this better than staying in the same club and managing to stay, a matter of taste.

Messi has been a club man and Maradona triumphed in different teams and leagues.

While Messi has remained in his comfort zone, Maradona was consistently the best player in the Argentine and Italian leagues, earning multiple honors for three different teams.

Contrary to popular opinion, Pelusa also stood out during his two seasons at Barcelona, scoring 38 goals in 58 games and winning a Copa del Rey. The comparison with Messi in this sense makes less the numbers and the title.

Maradona and Messi International Career:

And unlike Messi, Maradona achieved immortality by winning the World Cup. Although Leo has surpassed Diego in the national colors, he has underperformed that of Albiceleste in the big tournaments.

In four World Cups, Messi failed to score a single goal in playoffs. Although he was named the best player in the 2014 World Cup, the decision to award him the FIFA Ballon d’Or was universally criticized.

Also he fell short in his five appearances in the Copa America, scoring just two goals in qualifying mark without reaching any end. It should be noted that he missed a penalty in 2016.

In Messi’s favor, it can be said that he would have won a World Cup or America’s Cup if Gonzalo Higuaín had been more successful. Also that the Argentine team of those editions was not the favorite, with a defensive line, goal and average of a medium or low level.

Maradona did turn a mediocre team into world champions.

In fact, in terms of individual quality, the Argentine squads that reached successive World Cup finals in 1986 and 1990 were not the most powerful Argentina has had in its history. Jorge Valdano was the only 1986 starter who really was a star for a European club, although that doesn’t mean they were a bad team. In this sense, we could say that they were on par, there was no team to win.

It was Maradona who, singlehandedly, dragged his country to glory. His exploits in sensational matches against England and Belgium in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, before giving the late assist to Jorge Burruchaga’s final scorer, are legendary. It was also essential to lead the Argentine National Team to the final four years later.

He provided a brilliant assist for Claudio Caniggia in the match against Brazil in the round of 16 and turned his adoptive city, Naples, in a semi-final match against his national team, in a victory against the hosts and favorites.

Great Games, Great Football Moments:

While Messi has often disappointed when it really matters for Argentina, his record in exhibition matches for Barcelona is almost unmatched. He is one of the few players to have scored in more than one Champions League final and has delivered regularly when the pressure is on; his double in the 2011 semi-final against Real Madrid is a perfect example of this.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals in the Champions League qualifiers than Messi’s 46. Leo also holds the record for the most assists (14) in the round of 16. At the national level he is just as impressive with a record of 26 goals in El Clásico.

Maradona appeared in the big events in Argentina, Messi did it only in those of FC Barcelona


Along with Pelé, Maradona is arguably the greatest big-game player in international history, and despite being notorious for his drug antics, he almost always delivered at club level in key matches.

Maradona scored an elegant golden goal against AC Milan in the race to the Scudetto in 1987, showed inspiration against Juventus, Bayern Munich and Stuttgart on the road to glory in the 1989 UEFA Cup, and enjoyed a spectacular season finale in 1990, when Naples snatched another league title from AC Milan.

Club-level Performance:

The only hole Maradona has in his club resume is the European Cup (the current Champions League). While Messi has won four Champions Leagues and set numerous records, Maradona has only played two seasons and six games, scoring two goals.

However, it must be recognized that during the Maradona era, only the winners of their national leagues qualified for a European Cup that lasted a maximum of nine games. If today’s rules had been applied, then Maradona would have enjoyed several seasons and dozens of matches in the current Champions League.

Diego also inspired Napoli to win the UEFA Cup, a competition that was in many ways more difficult to win than the European Cup due to the presence of the second, third and fourth best teams in each league.

Maradona never won a European Cup for the four that Messi has


The curriculum of the club Messi is certainly more impressive from the numerical point of view, but we must recognize that football eighties was much more competitive than today.

The Serie A of that decade was possibly the most contested competition in the history of above, and practically every team had one or two world-class stars; from Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard in mighty AC Milan to Zico and Edinho in humble Udinese.

During Diego’s seven years in Italy, there were six different Serie A winners and the same number of European Cup and UEFA Cup champions.

Today, most of the major leagues have been monopolized by one or two wealthy ‘superclubs’. Barcelona and Real Madrid have shared 14 of the last 15 La Liga titles and eight Champions Leagues in the same time. Therefore, it has been much easier for Messi to accumulate trophies and goals from big clubs.

Modern attackers have also benefited greatly from the relaxation of the offside rule, the advancement of sports science, better fields, and more protective referees. Messi has received a good number of kicks but never like some of those that went unpunished when Maradona was active. You can ask the “Butcher of Bilbao”, Andoni Goikoetxea.

Cultural Legacy:

Along with Johan Cruyff, no person in Barcelona’s history has left such an indelible mark on the club. Leo has broken practically all possible records – many of which are unlikely to be broken – and has taken the Blaugrana to heights never seen before.

It has provided so many unforgettable moments of genius – Maradona’s style run against Getafe, the four goals against Arsenal, Jerome Boateng’s humiliation as one of the best goals in the Champions League – the list is endless. At the club level, Messi’s global legacy is comparable to anyone else’s.

When it comes to cultural impact on an entire country and city, Maradona raises the bar to another level. Naples was the poorest city in Europe – a “sewer” that was dominated, exploited and discriminated against by the rich industrial north.

Maradona has transcended beyond football both in Argentina and Naples. His legacy is unmatched.


When Maradona arrived, Napoli had just avoided relegation, but dragged to glory a team that had only won two Italian Cups in their history, the Scudetto. In doing so, he became the symbol of the struggle of the poor of the south against their masters of the north. He achieved the status of God in Naples, replacing the city’s patron saint, San Gennaro, as the most beloved son of Naples.

It is on the international stage where Messi’s legacy falls short. Maradona achieved immortality in his homeland for his exploits in 1986. He is remembered worldwide for winning the most iconic award in football practically alone and for scoring the biggest and most controversial goals in history against England.

In the case of Messi, it cannot be said that he has received the same love from the Argentine fans. He is not considered a “man of the people” like Maradona and even Carlos Tevez were, and he has never played in the Argentine league either.

From a technical and physical point of view , there is nothing that separates the careers of Maradona and Messi, certainly in their heyday. Messi has maintained his physical shape and performance throughout his career, although Maradona was far superior mentally in terms of leadership. He had the ability to inspire ‘ordinary’ Napoli and Argentina teammates to glory.

We could say that Messi is the best club player of all time, with Maradona being the best in history overall due to his international heroism.

Beyond the comparison between the two, we must enjoy both careers (especially Messi’s, who is still active).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here