FIFA president Gianni Infantino has insisted Lionel Messi must win a World Cup before he can be considered as the greatest player of all time.
The head of world football’s governing body drew the comparison to the Barcelona star’s compatriot Diego Maradona – who won the World Cup for Argentina alongside great success at club level.
“Messi is extraordinary but he is yet to win a World Cup,” Infantino told the newspaper La Nacion.
“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 (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.”
Messi’s Argentina fell in the 2014 World Cup decider against Germany and must win in Ecuador on Tuesday night or face the prospect of missing out entirely on next year’s tournament.