‘They are both competitive animals, but Leo is more human’: Javier Mascherano compares Barcelona icon Lionel Messi to Michael Jordan after watching Netflix’s The Last Dance
- Javier Mascherano played with Lionel Messi in Barcelona and Argentina
- Netflix’s The Last Dance portrayed Michael Jordan as an often divisive winner
- The former NBA star won six championships with the Chicago Bulls in two spells
- Mascherano believes their competitiveness is comparable, but Messi is more natural
Javier Mascherano has claimed that Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the football version of Michael Jordan after watching some of Netflix’s documentary miniseries The Last Dance.
The former Barcelona midfielder and center-back played for eight years with Messi at the Camp Nou and with the Argentina national team, sampling his compatriot’s ‘competitive animal’ firsthand on the field.
That desire to win at all costs was also evident on the final day of the 2019/20 LaLiga season, when Messi accused his teammates of awarding the title to rival Real Madrid.
Javier Mascherano believes Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the football version of Michael Jordan
Mascherano tasted the competitiveness of Messi in Barcelona and for Argentina for eight years
The Last Dance also portrayed Michael Jordan as a ruthless and sometimes divisive winner
The Last Dance also portrayed Jordan as a relentless – and at times divisive – winner in the Netflix series, which caused high tension in the Chicago Bulls dressing room.
But Mascherano believes the two are similar in their competitive stance, but described Messi as more down to earth.
‘The person who plays at Barcelona comes closest [to Jordan]Mascherano told Fox Sports’ 90 Minutos, as reported by the Ole newspaper.
But Mascherano believes they are equally competitive, but Messi is level-headed
At least in the way they compete. It’s a different sport. Relationships are different.
‘For the little I saw of the series [the Chicago Bulls documentary on Netflix]Leo is down to earth and more natural.
‘But they are competition animals, which is why they have had so many years at the top.
“Leo may be more human. Anyway, in borderline cases there is of course a look, a scream or something.
Messi has won 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions League, including with Mascherano in 2015
‘These are collective sports. No matter how good you are, you need those around you. You just can’t do everything.
“To keep your place, it’s important to have number one, but your teammates have to play their part.”
Jordan won six NBA titles and has countless records with the Bulls to this day, but had personal and much competitive rivalries with the likes of Isiah Thomas and Karl Malone.
Messi has since won 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues and shared a rivlary with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo during his spell in Spain.
However, Jordan holds many records for Chicago Bulls, winning six NBA titles with it