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Ronaldo has Maradona’s passion, Messi ‘nothing,’ says Benfica coach

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Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi puts on his team’s jersey after paying tribute for late Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona by revealing a Newell’s Old Boys jersey after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on November 29, 2020. (Photo by J. Bassa / AFP)

When sports pundits talk about talented football players these days, they often use terms such as “the new Messi” or the “new Ronaldo.” However, when both athletes began their careers, there was only a name in the Olympus of football – Diego Maradona, writes Reuters.

Benfica’s manager Jorge Jesus weighed in on the debate about who is the greatest player in the history of football, saying current superstars are unable to match the grandeur of Diego Maradona, who died unexpectedly last week. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are widely regarded as two of the best, if not the best, football players these days. However, Jorge Jesus strongly disagrees and says the forwards are nowhere close to Maradona.

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“Today, among the best two in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo has a little of that (what Maradona had). Messi has nothing. He doesn’t have any passion.”

Messi is a great player. But we’re talking about life and feelings, having a passion for the game and for football. I think Maradona was above anyone in that regard,” said Jorge Jesus, who led Benfica to three titles in Primeira Liga and twice to silver medals in the UEFA Europa League.

Jesus said Maradona was also above Pele, another iconic football player, who has been dubbed the King of Football. According to the manager, the Argentine’s sublime performance can be explained by the fact that he was born a genius.

“Pele’s still here, he’s alive. Maradona was greater, not just because he was a genius, but because of how he showed it. That makes the difference for me. He was absolutely world-class, but he had a passion for the game, he was born to be a footballer, he was born with everything”, Jesus said.

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