As anticipation builds for the upcoming season, football legend Gary Lineker has unequivocally hailed Lionel Messi as the greatest player in the history of the sport, particularly underlining the Argentine’s achievement in leading Argentina to World Cup glory.
In a candid conversation, Lineker delved into his views on the iconic football player, his potential transfer value in the contemporary market, and how his own spell as a forward with Barcelona left an indelible mark.
Reflecting on the “completely nuts” 2022 FIFA World Cup final clash between France and Argentina that extended into extra time, Lineker witnessed Messi’s extraordinary prowess propelling his national team to victory, thereby sealing his status as the “greatest ever” in Lineker’s eyes.
Expressing his awe, Lineker elaborated, “For me, [he is] the greatest player I’ve had the pleasure of watching. [Messi] has given me immense joy for two decades. And he just does things that ordinary mortals can’t do. He’s just a joy to watch. Even on his quiet days, he’ll do three or four things in one game that I don’t think I would have done once in my whole career. He’s kind of stopped all arguments, in a way, really.”
Lineker Dubbed Messi As The “Greatest Of All Time”
Lineker, a renowned figure in football history, shares a special bond with Barcelona, having been the only Englishman to wear the club’s jersey since World War II. During his stint at the iconic club, he amassed 102 appearances and netted 42 goals, including a memorable El Clasico hat-trick that saw him score twice in the opening five minutes.
Recollecting the magic of that moment, Lineker nostalgically shared, “It was the first one I played at the Camp Nou, and I scored two goals in the first five minutes, both very close range, and I got goosebumps. The noise was incredible… 120,000 fans. It was about five minutes into the second half. I had a one-on-one with a goalkeeper I believe was Buyo… Dinked it over him and when I saw it going in, it was just magical.”
Amid the conversation, Lineker lightheartedly mused about the valuation of his transfer fee in today’s market, suggesting that, considering inflation and modern-day parameters, he might command a staggering value of around $140 million. Reflecting on the journey of his own career, Lineker’s remarks underscore the evolution of the football landscape and the profound impact of exceptional talents like Messi on the sport’s trajectory.
As football enthusiasts eagerly await the unfolding season, Lineker’s endorsement of Messi’s greatness echoes across the realm of football, a testament to the enduring legacy of a player who has captivated audiences worldwide with his extraordinary skills and accomplishments.