To celebrate the 10th anniversary of 90min, we decided to relaunch a debate as old as the time when the Pulga exploded in the face of the world. Is Leo Messi the best player of all time? But 10 years of anniversary oblige, we decided to restrict this debate to the last decade (2011 – 2021).
For many, the question is already quickly answered: Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccitini, by his full name, is the best player of all time. For some, he is not even the best Argentinian player. For others still, it does not arrive at the first abs of a second monster, him Portuguese and known for his locks, his brand of boxer shorts and perhaps a little also for his footballing skills, among others.
This week, we will wonder if at least Lionel Messi is the best player of the last ten years. According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), the Pulga is indeed the best player of the decade (2010 – 2020) … but at 90min, we care about things well done and we have decided to postpone this period of one year (2011-2021), anniversary obliges. Then we also decided to study the subject in detail. Here are our arguments.
From a purely individual point of view, and if we make the comparison sector by sector, difficult to compete with the Pulga. Messi is the player with the most goals in the league and also the best passer of the last ten years. In the latter area, the native of Rosario is notably ahead of artists in the field such as Angel Di Maria or Mesut Ozil.
Overall, the 33-year-old Argentinian has been involved with a whopping 693 goals in all competitions over the past ten seasons, and no one does it better. For comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo was involved on 600 goals including the same period.
It should also be noted that in the midst of this slew of figures, Messi undoubtedly achieved the most resounding season in football history by being involved in 102 goals (73 goals, 29 assists) during the 2011-2012 season. . In the calendar year 2012, the Pulga totaled 91 goals.
We can also add to these figures that the Argentine is the player who created the most chances in front of a certain Dimitri Payet. He is also the best dribbler of the decade with over 1,000 dribbles, over 100 lengths ahead of Eden Hazard. Finally, the neo-Parisian became this summer, during the Copa America, the best shooter of direct free kicks (58), a length in front of CR7 and especially well in front of the 27 units of the third in the matter, Hakan Çalhanoğlu.
The culmination of individual achievement, the Ballon d’Or. It is the dream of any footballer or any child who dreams of one day becoming a professional. The supreme individual distinction. A dream of which the two monsters that are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have deprived many other footballers.
And here too, the Argentinian is ahead of the Portuguese. Messi has indeed won five Ballon d’Ors over the past ten years, while CR7 has one less. Only Modric invited himself to the table of the two tauliers, and only because he was offered the stool with his Ballon d’Or won in 2018.
If we want to add more, we can also mention the five Golden Shoes obtained by the Pulga in the last ten years against three for Cristiano Ronaldo.
All the arguments mentioned above converge on a single point: a profile undoubtedly never seen in football. Numbers are one thing, emotions are another. Never again will we see a player so complete, capable of giving the impression of going faster than the ball, of controlling it as if the two were one.
Scorer, passer, dribbler, formidable on free kick, capable of eliminating a team on his own, capable of breaking the reputation of a defender, endowed with a rare game vision, a maddening intelligence, and even capable of score with a head against the largest rocks in the world from the height of its 69 meter.
Lionel Messi has defied the laws of football since his inception and has not broken the rule for the past decade. Of course, we can always talk about the famous shadow on the board: his recent career in the Champions League. An area in which CR7 has largely gained the upper hand.
But Leo transformed Barca as well as Barca made him the player he has become. And the end of the last decade has made us realize one thing: the Pulga literally carried the Catalan club on their own in the most tedious moments of its recent history. Evidenced by the dark moments after Messi in Catalonia.
For these different reasons, we therefore believe that Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccitini has well deserved his status as the best player of the decade, possibly of all time. But if the debate still exists, it is because the Argentine is still facing a Portuguese determined to leave a bigger imprint in history.
The main thing, as we usually say, is to take advantage of these two monsters who have pulled themselves to the top, have participated in trivializing the records and high-flying performances, have reigned over the last decade , but above all have to participate in making this sport a little more magnificent still.
And as Patrick Bruel would say, see you in 10 years, this time for the big players, to know their successor (s).