Diego Maradona still represents the ideal of the creative, charming, and rebellious Argentine footballer. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is in many ways the opposite of the iconic Argentine "pibe." Is that why his home country remains cool toward him?
"In the context of sportsmen's lives, their spells at the very peak will be short. Yet even as we acknowledge how brief and fleeting is our acquaintance, we lean to defining a sportsman with emphasis on the sport to the exclusion of the man, perhaps because we wish chiefly to admire rather than to understand."