The Messi-Maradona Comparison “Is Absurd,” According To Johan Cruyff

By Dialogo
March 30, 2010

Big Cruyff: With you we cannot compare,,, neither pele, di stefano, beckenbauer ,etc.. The recently designated honorary president of the Barcelona soccer team, Dutchman Johan Cruyff, said Monday in his weekly column in the daily El Periódico that the position is “an honor” and affirmed that the comparison between Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona is “absurd.” The former player and former coach of the Catalan team said that “it’s a source of pride and a great satisfaction to be an honorary president of the Barça,” and after emphasizing that “it’s an honorary position,” warned “that no one should expect to see me intervening in signing this or that player.” Upon referring to other honorary presidents, Cruyff said that “to be together with (Alfredo) Di Stéfano, (Bobby) Charlton, and (Frank) Beckenbauer is to be in the company of very few people, but of very high quality.” Cruyff also referred to the “absurd” comparison between the Argentines Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona. “If the comparison Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo already seems wrong to me -- while they’re both very good, they’re two entirely different soccer players -- the Messi-Maradona comparison is absurd,” the Dutchman emphasized. “Beyond the fact that comparisons are always odious, how are we going to say for sure that one is better or worse? They’re not even from the same epoch or the same soccer,” he affirmed. “One has already concluded his career. The other, by his age, has a long time still to play. Maradona amazed many people, and it was a pleasure to watch him play. Now, with Messi, everyone, without exception, feels proud to have him in soccer,” he added. “Maradona was a phenomenon and did incredible things. Messi is the same now. Enjoy him and leave him in peace, because comparisons only cause division,” Cruyff said. In addition, he advised, “people should enjoy him, and even more importantly, kids should imitate him or try to copy him. They’ll pick up one or another good move,” he concluded.