World Cup 2018: ‘Lionel Messi does not need to win World Cup to be all-time great’

lionelmessi-cropped_1bl14ol74n1w119yen6wwn3n2r

Argentina forward Lionel Messi does not need to win the World Cup to be considered an all-time great, says former striker Hernan Crespo. Messi, 30, had a penalty saved in Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland in their opening game in Russia.

He has won 32 titles and five Ballons d’Or in 14 seasons at Barcelona, but has never lifted the World Cup. “A lot of players are great in our memories without winning the World Cup,” Crespo told BBC Sport. “Messi is a fantastic player. I love to watch him so much and he’s a very good guy. He deserves to win the World Cup.

“If he wins he’s a great player, but he is still a great player if he doesn’t. “How many great players didn’t win it? I don’t remember Johan Cruyff or [Michel] Platini doing it.”