What is a Goat? Certainly not Messi

Updated on 12/14/2022 at 12:33 p.m

A nagging question has been plaguing football fans since Tuesday night: Who is the Goat, the greatest of all time? Lionel Messi, whose ferocious performance in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Croatia for the second time since 2014, has led his native Argentina to the World Cup final? Or his compatriot Diego Maradona, who shaped the 1980s and 1986. won the world cup?

Pete Gottschalk
This column reflects the views of Pete Gottschalk. how our editors handle opinions in texts.

And as soon as the debate begins, another name pops up: Pelé, who most fans only know from old black-and-white photos, but who won the World Cup three times: in 1958, 1962 and 1970. Don’t forget: Franz BeckenbauerGermany’s World Cup captain in 1974.

What makes a goat?

Return to the beginning. What exactly is a goat? First of all: language error. The addition of “all-time” includes the future, and no one can predict whether there will be a bigger hit in the future. Messi, Maradona or Pele there.

When Pelé was playing, no one could have imagined that there could ever be a faster, more agile and more productive striker. Then Johan Cruyff came along and completely redefined attacking football in the 1970s, the Dutch ‘total football’.

At the same time, and somewhat more successfully, the elegance of Franz Beckenbauer changed the structure of the game from the defense. He is the inventor of the libero as we know it today: a defensive leader who not only tackles and kicks, but also delegates and shapes.

who came out Many kisses, many tongues

So if you’re looking for the greatest past and present, “history,” you need comparable criteria. If you look at success with the national team, Pelé has the advantage. If you look at individual awards: clearly Messi.

Battle of the Goats: Messi vs Maradona

At least now Maradona is starting to play. At just 1.65m tall, his ball handling and incredible tenacity was electrifying at first Argentina and later all of Europe. His solo goal against England in 1986 became the goal of the century.

Statistically, Maradona can’t keep up with Messi: he scored 34 goals in 90 games (an average of 0.37 per game), while Messi scored 96 goals in 171 (an average of 0.56). Messi has played in five World Cups and is likely to play a world record 26th World Cup game on Sunday.

Is Messi taller than Maradona? Perhaps a generational issue. The eternal long-distance duel with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Ballon d’r and FIFA Player of the Year awards led to Messi’s best performances that the whole world admired. It is a global brand.

Children, teenagers and even young adults only saw Messi play, not Maradona and Pelé. In the age of the Playstation, this is very important: on a gaming console, every kicker is bigger than it is. Virtual points represent performance in the form of sales promotion.

But marketing always obscures the essentials: Did Messi shape games or the game itself? Without a doubt, his goals and preparation for goals are outstanding. He makes the difference in the game. But Messi’s football is unrecognizable.

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It was different with Maradona. After the first victory in the World Championship in 1978. he missed the artistic, iconic aspect that always promised the brutal Argentine style of play, both in victory (1986) and defeat (1990). In this sense, Messi is only perhaps a better duplicate of him.

Should such a person even be called a goat?

But neither can ignore the importance of Pelé, who himself scored more than a thousand goals, became an icon and entered the history books like no other since 1930: three World Cups. There is nothing greater. And therefore not bigger.

And the question of the goat has not yet been discussed, whether behavior outside the field should also be taken into account. Maradona is a doping offender, Messi tax cheat. Current Cult 2022 at the World Cup in Qatar simply ignores the misbehavior.

L. Messi should be especially ashamed: when his million-dollar salary could no longer flow in the desired amount, he immediately left the cloudy training club “FC Barcelona”, which had previously even paid his tax debts, for the sheikhs’ club PSG.

Can such a person be called a Goat? Not really. Not only for the function of a global role model, decency and grandeur are part of the goat’s actions – not only on the pitch. With Messi it would also mean the World Cup…

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