Continuing with Lionel Messi’s celebrations, we move on to talk about the Argentine player he admired the most during his childhood: Pablo Aimar.
A legendary player such as Lionel Messi could have any of the great footballers in history as his idols, but the Argentine chose Pablo Aimar since he was a little kid.
The former Valencia legend is one of La Liga’s biggest legends, he led the ‘Che’ squad to a couple of domestic tournaments, one UEFA Cup, and a Champions League final.
During his prime for Valencia, ‘Pablito’ was one of the most spectacular players in the world and Messi watched him as he was growing up in the FC Barcelona academy.
Leo has repeatedly stated that his biggest idol is Pablo Aimar, the feeling is very mutual now that Pablo has retired and shares time with Messi in the Argentina National Team as an assistant manager.
Pablo recently spoke to Enganche about the impression he has of Messi, his description of the star speaks about a profound admiration he has for his compatriot.
Aimar prefers watching the Messi that dribbled rivals with ease when he was still very young, but he also recognizes Leo’s evolution over the years and acknowledges how spectacular he still is as a player.
🎁 El ‘regalo’ que la selección Argentina le hace a Messi
🇦🇷 La presencia de Pablo Aimar, ídolo y confidente de Leo, en el cuerpo técnico de la albiceleste es un auténtico bálsamo para el ‘10’https://t.co/81PiafoagQ pic.twitter.com/42ZPjJbbDn
— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) June 14, 2019
“It’s likely that the latest Messi is the best Messi,” said Pablo Aimar to Enganche.
“You watched him at 20 years old and you couldn’t distract for a second because he dribbled past four players in the blink of an eye.”
“Now that he is older, maybe he doesn’t go past several rivals 10 times in a single game. He only does it twice or once.”
“But he only does this in the precise moment and at the right time. He touches the ball when he has to. He gets the ball when he needs to.”
“He always knows when he has to maintain the ball. You can ask me which one was better to watch. I will always tell you that I preferred him when he was 20.”
“But the one who plays better football is today’s Messi. After that, there are things I can’t measure in order to say he is the best player in history.”
“I can’t measure how the refs called his games, how comfortable the pitch was when he played every game, the rivals, and many more things that are impossible to measure.”
“But today’s Messi is spectacular, the same one that gets a foul on purpose in order to get the chance to take a free kick.2
“Even when he doesn’t appear to do anything, he is definitely doing something. But there are things that are harder to explain.”
“Messi plays 70 matches per year and he gets injured when he is playing the number 30th if he tries to run 12 kilometers per match.”
“Looking at this is not as complicated. Messi decides 60 or 65 out of those 70 matches he plays per year.”
“That stat is absolutely mental. Copa del Rey, match. Champions, match. La Liga, match. National Team, match.2
“Messi knows everything there is to know about football. He knows when to put players together in order to pass the ball properly.”
“He knows when to dribble. He knows when to keep the ball. He knows when to accelerate.”
“He knows when to touch the ball once, or when to do it twice as he gets it or not. Messi’s maturity amazes me. He is the total footballer,” he concluded.
 Juan Román Riquelme, Pablo Aimar, Carlos Tevez y Lionel Messi celebrando un gol en algún partido de la Copa América 2007. ¡De lo que nos perdimos!… pic.twitter.com/BvsLe8KtsU
— #RIQUELME2019 (@fotosroman10) March 21, 2019
It’s a bummer they didn’t play together.
Just like we talked about Riquelme’s little time playing alongside Messi, we would’ve loved watching Leo play with Pablo Aimar at their peak.
It’s sad to think that these players didn’t get a chance to enjoy Leo when they were still playing their best football.
Just imagine them playing in today’s Argentina, they would’ve probably won all those finals that they lost between 2014 and 2016.
The Argentina National Team with Messi, Riquelme, and Aimar.
That is something that we all would’ve paid good money to watch.
Leo playing alongside one of his biggest examples in the national team, and also beside his biggest childhood idol.
Estos tres eran más equipo q Messi y compañía, grandes épocas de una argentina q metía miedo. https://t.co/bq6fwj4ZPI
— John Mendez (@EL_PATRONCHO) June 22, 2019
What do you think would’ve happened if Messi played alongside the best Riquelme and the best Aimar for Argentina? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.