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The NFL name Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer ever



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

During the coverage of the Super Bowl on Sunday, the NFL shared a graphic labelling Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer of all time. The Barcelona superstar was named alongside legendary athletes from three other sports as the greatest in their respective domains. The image swiftly started making rounds on social media and sparked plenty of discussion.

The Super Bowl final between Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers ended with a win for the latter. The victory meant Buccaneers star Tom Brady added a seventh Super Bowl title to his name. He was named as the greatest NFL athlete, while basketball icon Michael Jordan was named as the best NBA player ever. NHL legend Wayne Gretzky sat alongside Messi, completing the list as the greatest hockey player of all time.

The graphic during the Super Bowl highlighting the greatest players to grace each sport. (Image by NFL via Movistar)

The inclusion of Lionel Messi however, sparked a fair bit of controversy on the internet. Barcelona’s talisman was seemingly included on the basis of his four Champions League victories. This consequently ignited a debate where many fans believed Cristiano Ronaldo should have been included since he has five Champions League crowns to his name. Barça fans however were delighted with their captain’s appearance alongside so many legendary sports figures.

This comes shortly after Lionel Messi was named ‘Player of the Decade‘ by International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has undoubtedly been one of the greatest sportsmen of this generation, breaking record after record. The Argentine was also crowned as the best South American player of the last decade. For the little magician, the plaudits just seem to keep flying in and deservedly so.

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