Lionel Messi has been called out by Diego Maradona following Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Napoli in the first leg of the Champions League at the Stadio Sao Paolo. Lionel Messi has shown some unfamiliar form over the course of the season and Diego Maradona has opened up on the supposed Lionel Messi decline. The Argentine legend has revealed due to a Lionel Messi decline in form over the recent past, the Barcelona attacker cannot be in the same conversation as the Diego Maradona achievements story.
Before the visit to Naples, comparisons were drawn up between Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona. The list of Diego Maradona achievements in Italy come second to none and the stage was set for Messi to shine at a stadium where his predecessor was idolized for years together. However, a relatively tame performance from the 32-year-old Blaugrana captain suggested that the Lionel Messi decline story might well be real. Following the draw, Argentina icon Diego Maradona gave a scathing remark on the possibility of a Lionel Messi decline.
Diego Maradona on if Lionel Messi played at Napoli: "Messi arrived at San Paolo in decline; Messi has not lived the life I have. Leo could play extraordinarily in Naples, but he would not be able to do what I did. Let's be clear about that."— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) February 26, 2020
The 59-year-old Diego Maradona is held in high regard among the Napoli fans and played an integral part in winning the club's only two Serie A titles. The Diego Maradona achievements with Barcelona include a Spanish Super Cup, League Cup and a Spanish Cup that glossed his illustrious career.
Certainly, winning six Ballon d'Or awards was never in the Diego Maradona achievements section, but it's obvious that the most glorious instance in the Diego Maradona achievements section is the FIFA World Cup and that is something that cannot be won by Argentina with a Lionel Messi decline in performances. If a Lionel Messi decline is on the cards in the near future, there are chances that he might not be able to go past the list of Diego Maradona achievements since a World Cup is all that remains.
Barcelona could be impacted heavily with a Lionel Messi decline in form as they are currently in a transition phase. Having not won a Champions League title since the summer of 2015, the La Liga giants are heavily reliant on their star No. 10. There may not be a massive slump in a Lionel Messi decline but a gradual decline can be observed, fans have claimed after the Napoli clash.