FIFA president Gianni Infantino says Lionel Messi must lift the World Cup before he can be considered the greatest player of all time.
The Barcelona and Argentina star has won everything at club level, including eight La Liga titles, five Spanish Cups and four Champions League crowns, but major international honours have so far eluded him.
Messi and Argentina came agonisingly close at the last World Cup in 2014, losing 1-0 in the final to Germany, and Infantino cited 1986 winner Diego Maradona in his comments.
He told newspaper La Nacion: ‘Messi is extraordinary but he is yet to win a World Cup.
‘There are lots of amazing players who never won the World Cup and that is what made Diego so special in football – winning major titles for both club and country.
‘Messi may be there [at the 2018 finals in Russia] and we may see him in 2022 because he very rarely picks up injuries. Even if players try to foul him, they can’t get near.’
But Messi may see another opportunity slip away, with Argentina’s qualification for the 2018 finals in serious jeopardy.
They are currently sixth in the South American qualifying group – not enough to make it through – ahead of their final match away to Ecuador on Tuesday night.
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