Copa America: Chile were able to match Lionel Messi and Argentina, says Juan Antonio Pizzi

East Rutherford: Chile football team coach Juan Antonio Pizzi on Monday rated just-retired Argentina star Lionel Messi as the best ever even as he missed his penalty kick in the Copa America final.

The Argentina captain announced his retirement from international football after Pizzi’s men defeated Argentina 4-2 on penalties at the MetLife stadium at East Rutherford on Sunday.

"On top of having an admiration for Messi, I'm driven very much by the numbers," Pizzi was quoted as saying by

"Because I know what it means to value certain numbers and Messi's numbers are unmatched, and I don't think they will ever be matched because it's impossible for a player to find the things that Messi finds."

"The people, at times, are very particular when it comes to valuing certain things," Pizzi remarked.

"I do it from a point of view that's very personal - everyone should do so from a personal point of view - and in my point of view Messi is the best player of all time."

 Copa America: Chile were able to match Lionel Messi and Argentina, says Juan Antonio Pizzi

Lionel Messi's sudden retirement has shocked the sporting fraternity. AP

Messi has always faced the pressure of living upto the legacy of Argentine legend Diego Maradona but Pizzi says it is difficult comparing the two.

"My generation can't compare (Messi) with Maradona, because of what Maradona did for Argentine soccer," Pizzi said.

"But it seems to be the best player in history played on Sunday in East Rutherford in the United States and for me the numbers are irrefutable."

The coach also praised his own team who successfully defended their title.

"That group has helped us become a strong national team, a team that can compete with the best," Pizzi said.

"In front of us today we had the number one team in the world, with the best players in the world, with the best player in history, and with all the virtues I spoke about, we were able to compete."


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Updated Date: Jun 27, 2016 19:23:49 IST