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Juan Roman Riquelme gives his take on Lionel Messi vs Diego Maradona debate, he played with both

Jack Kenmare

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Juan Roman Riquelme gives his take on Lionel Messi vs Diego Maradona debate, he played with both

You could argue Juan Roman Riquelme is the most qualified person to answer a question that's taking Argentina by storm right now.

Earlier this month, the guys over at GOAL sparked debate on the Copacabana beach, when they asked members of the public to choose between Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.

In total, nine people were asked the question in the Rio de Janeiro hot spot, and to the surprise of some, the majority picked former Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli forward Maradona.

Many of those interviewed were Boca supporters, who were in a buoyant mood ahead of the Copa Libertadores final against Fluminense.

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But the question provoked a strong reaction from those in the comments section, with the clip picking up over 2.5 million views on X, formerly known as Twitter.


Since the video emerged, former Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme, who made 51 appearances for La Albiceleste, has given his take on the debate.

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Riquelme played with both players at different stages of his career. The midfielder was coming through the Boca Juniors youth system when Maradona was coming towards the end of his trophy-laden career.

And more than a decade later, he was strutting his stuff in Argentina's midfield alongside Messi, who was making a name for himself at Barcelona.

So who is the GOAT? Speaking to ESPN Argentina, Riquelme was asked to pick between the pair.

“Maradona? He’s the greatest I saw on a football pitch when I was a child," he said. "Now when I grew up, the greatest is Messi. I was lucky to play with both of them, for me it was a very big dream.”

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Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Diego Maradona's former teammate Bernd Schuster believes 'El Diego' would be better than Lionel Messi if they both played in the modern game.

"We talked a lot about football," Schuster told FourFourTwo when chatting about his friendship with Maradona. "We thought about the game in the same way: we liked to entertain the fans.

"Back then, we played on pitches that were in terrible condition and it limited all of us, even Diego, but he was still a phenomenon.

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"If he’d been playing today, with modern facilities and pitches, there’d be no debate about the greatest player ever."

Featured Image Credit: ESPN Argentina - Getty Images

Topics: Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Argentina, La Liga, Football

Jack Kenmare
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