Many believe FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi needs to win a FIFA World Cup to be considered as one of football’s greats.
But a player who will be competing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia feels the Argentine already holds that status.
Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, a teammate of Messi’s at club level, feels the 30-year-old does not need to taste World Cup glory to be confirmed as one of the best players ever, insisting that the forward has already made his mark on the sport.
“Surely he deserves to win it for who he is,” he told Marca.
“Football isn’t tennis: you can’t put Messi under pressure by saying he alone has to win the World Cup.
“He does deserve it but there are 32 countries with the same dream. If he wins it at the end, we will all be happy for him.
“However, his story is not going to change if he wins it or not. If you are the best, you are it independently of whether you win one or 50 000 titles. One World Cup will not change what Leo Messi means to football.”
Messi helped guide Argentina to the World Cup final in 2014, but the Albiceleste lost to Germany, with Mario Gotze scoring the winner in extra-time.