Andres Iniesta hits back at Lionel Messi detractors

Messi and Iniesta spent plenty of time together at Barcelona
Messi and Iniesta spent plenty of time together at Barcelona / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barcelona and Spain legend Andres Iniesta insists that detractors of Lionel Messi will still find a way to claim he is not the greatest footballer of all time despite winning the World Cup with Argentina.

Messi led La Albiceleste to their first world title in 36 years, seeing off France on penalties at the end of one of the game's best ever finals.

With a World Cup now firmly on his mantlepiece, Messi is now widely seen as the best to have played the game.

Speaking to ESPN, Iniesta insisted that his former teammate didn't need this crowning glory to achieve that accolade, and it won't stop his doubters from arguing against him.

"For me, Messi is the best with or without [winning] a World Cup," Iniesta said.

Watch 90min's World Cup show on YouTube as Harry Symeou, Scott Saunders, Grizz Khan and special guest Kieron Dyer review Argentina's epic win over France on penalties. Subscribe to the channel here!

"I think the fact he has won a World Cup, more than what other people [think], is a huge source of happiness for himself. Not just for him, but for Argentina as a country. They are always in the running and the fact they've won it in the way they did makes it totally deserved.

"I am sure anyone who doesn't view Messi as the best will find an excuse to keep seeing it that way, regardless of whether he won the World Cup or not."

He added: "I think it was the best ever final, in terms of goals, emotions, everything that happened in the game, the twists.

"It was clearly an amazing game for the fans and was worthy of a World Cup final."