Legendary AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi has caused controversy in some quarters by inferring that Lionel Messi is not even the second-best player in Argentina’s history.
Whilst speaking to Argentine daily newspaper La Nacion, the former Italian national team coach suggested that both Diego Maradona and Alfredo di Stefano were the two greatest, though did concede that Messi is currently the world’s best:
Messi is the best player in the world today, but does not have the personality of Maradona. Diego made a difference in Italy and Spain.
Maradona or Di Stefano – they were the two best, and were different because Diego was the most talented whilst Alfredo was everywhere.
Sacchi is no stranger to disputes where Number 10s are concerned (just ask Roberto Baggio), and believes that Messi will change his mind about quitting international football in the wake of this summer’s Copa America defeat, stating:
I understand his situation but he [Messi] needs to change his mind because he has a debt to Argentina – he has to go back.
We can’t lose the best player in the world.
If only the coach felt the same way about Italy in 1994, after the World Cup final defeat and his self-imposed exile of Baggio!