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VALENCIA

"Maradona had no rivals; Messi has got Cristiano and he's still the best" - Mario Kempes

Kempes, en un acto en la Universidad Católica de Valencia.

The Valencia legend joined Fernando Gómez Colomer for a chat at the city's University. "VAR would have been a nightmare for Maradona", said El Matador.

The Catholic University in Torrent was the setting for a chat between two Valencia club legends - Fernando Gómez Colomer and Mario Alberto Kempes - the third and fourth maximum goal scorers of all-time for the blanquinegras (after Edmundo Suárez 'Mundo' and Waldo Machado). Today's event was the latest organized to celebrate Valencia's centenary - and also a good excuse to promote Kempes' new autobiography, Matador.

Kempes hails Messi, "the best in the world"

Today's chat went beyond the anecdotes noted in Kempes' book, and the former player spoke about his compatriots, Diego Armando Maradona and Leo Messi. "What's the problem that people have here in Spain with Maradona and Messi? They spend the whole day comparing them", Kempes asked, before adding: "Personally, I put both of them of a pedestal during their respective eras. One difference if that while Maradona had no one to rival him during his time, Messi did - first there was Ronaldinho and then there was Cristiano… and in spite of all of that, he continues to be the best, because as it stands today, Messi is the best player in the world".

Kempes, who spent seven years at Valencia in the 70s and 80s, went on to comment: "VAR would have been a disaster for Maradona with his 'Hand of God'. With which one would I liked to have played alongside? With Messi… because I already played alongside Maradona during the World Cup finals here in Spain".