Barcelona’s Argentine ahead Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring throughout the Spanish league soccer match between Membership Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona on the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, on December 1, 2019. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP
Lionel Messi is the “greatest” footballer of all time, forward of even Diego Maradona, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso stated on Monday forward of his aspect’s Champions League conflict with Barcelona.
The 32-year-old Messi scored 4 objectives on the weekend in Barcelona’s 5-Zero win over Eibar and has now been concerned in additional than 1,000 objectives in his profession, scoring 696 and helping one other 306.
Gattuso was fast to reward Messi, evaluating the Barca star to Napoli legend Maradona.
“He’s the greatest and an example for everyone,” stated Gattuso forward of the edges’ last-16 first leg on Tuesday.
“He by no means says something inappropriate. He does issues that solely exist on the Ps, unthinkable issues.
“However I noticed him (Maradona) on VHS or DVD. I by no means noticed him up shut, at a stadium.
“I do know the champion he was and I do know I missed one thing fantastic. I reget it. As we speak I see Messi doing issues that Maradona was doing.”
Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne was not so eager to just accept that Messi has reached higher heights than 1986 World Cup winner Maradona.
“Messi is the best in the world today,” stated Insigne. “But for us Neapolitans, Maradona is everything and I don’t want to compare them. Maradona is sacred.”
However Insigne and Gattuso agreed that their staff need to watch out to not focus solely on making an attempt to cease Messi.
“We have to be careful with their whole team because it’s not just Messi,” stated Gattuso.
Napoli are having fun with a latest upturn in type after a dreadful begin to the Serie A season which culminated within the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti following a Four-Zero win over Genk that despatched them into the Champions League knockout stage.
Final season’s Serie A runners-up have gained six of their final seven video games.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday), I want a Napoli side that are not afraid,” added Gattuso.
“I wish to see a staff that is aware of learn how to battle… It is advisable stand as much as Barcelona — you’ll be able to’t fear.
“I wish to see a vigorous staff that performs with pleasure till the tip. Can Napoli win the Champions League? By no means say by no means.”
It’s the first time Napoli have reached the knockout rounds since a last-16 loss to Actual Madrid in 2017, whereas Barcelona are bidding to make the quarter-finals for a 13th consecutive season.