Lionel Messi Named Champions League’s Greatest Ever Player Ahead Of Juventus Final

Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the best soccer player in the history of the sport. And if he manages to secure his fourth Champions League winner’s medal when Barcelona play Juventus on Saturday, then he will have all but confirmed this status.

But according to the sponsor’s of Saturday’s final in Berlin, the diminutive Argentinian is already the greatest player in Champions League history.

According to Bleacher Report, MasterCard conducted a poll that asked who is the greatest player to have played in the tournament since its transformation in 1992, and Lionel Messi won 27 percent of the vote.

He beat Zinedine Zidane to the honor, as the Frenchman, who played for Juventus and Real Madrid, secured 12 percent. The pair were followed by Cristiano Ronaldo (11 percent), the Brazilian forward Ronaldo (7 percent) and David Beckham (4 percent).

A further breakdown of the results, via the Latin American Herald Tribune, revealed that Messi won 33 percent of the votes from those who responded aged over 55, while Messi won in Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Holland, Italy, Turkey, Russia, and Hungary. Cristiano Ronaldo won in Portugal, and Zidane won in France, which is hardly surprising because these are their home nations.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both regarded as two of the greatest players in the history of the sport. But Messi could secure his fourth Champions League honor on Saturday, while Ronaldo is still stuck on two Champions League medals.

Of course, the fact that the poll was only restricted to the Champions League means that players like Alfredo DiStefano, Ferenc Puskas, Eusebio, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, and Johan Cruyff couldn’t feature in the ballot.

Ahead of the final with Juventus, Lionel Messi admitted that he can’t wait for it to start. Speaking on Facebook, Messi wrote, via Sport English, “Only 48 hours until the final of the Champions League. I can’t wait to play it!”

[Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images]