Lionel Messi Reacts to Kylian Mbappe’s Claims That UEFA Euros is More Competitive Than The World Cup


Inter Miami forward and world football icon Lionel Messi has replied to the assertion of Kylian Mbappe that the European Championship is tougher to win than the World Cup.

Speaking ahead of the tournament which kicks off on June 14, Mbappe said the Euros is a stronger competition than the World Cup, based on the “level” of the tournaments.

“I consider the Euros more complicated than the World Cup, more complicated to win. If we talk about level, the Euros is more difficult because we are so used to playing against each other. Tactically, it is similar football,” he said.

Mbappe’s assertion was seen as a subtle dig at CONMEBOL- The South American Football Confederation – who recently had one of their representatives – Argentina – win the 2022 World Cup.

Kylian Mbappe Lionel Messi
File photo of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.

Reacting to Kylian Mbappe’s recent comment, Lionel Messi, who led Argentina to the 2022 World Cup triumph in Qatar, put the records straight. While speaking with ESPN Argentina, Messi refuted the youngster and former PSG teammate.

According to the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, the Euros is important but South America still have the strongest teams in the world which the Euros will lack in Euro 2024 in Germany.

The Inter Miami sensation went on to mention South American teams and the number of times they have won the World Championship.

“The Euros are very important, but it leaves out Argentina, three-time world champion; Brazil, five-time world champion; Uruguay, two-time world champion. There are many world champions left out to say that the Euros is the most difficult, right? In the World Cup, the best teams are there, and all the world champions are generally there. That’s why everyone wants to be a world champion,” Messi said.

It was not the first time Kylian Mbappe has aimed a subtle dig at South American football. In May 2022, a few months before the 2022 World Cup, the 25-year-old said South American football was not as advanced as European football, hence European teams have been dominating the World Cup.

“They (South American football) are not as advanced as in Europe, that’s why when you look at the last World Cups it’s always Europeans who win”, the Frenchman said.

Coincidentally, Argentina would defeat Kylian Mbappe’s France for the coveted football trophy in the tournament.

Beyond the assertions of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, what do statistics say?

While emotions may hold sway, here, Futballnews takes a look at how the two (European and South American) football confederations have fared in FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Notably, the two confederations have dominated the competition since its inception in 1930. A South American team, Uruguay, were the first to win the competition.

A European side, Italy, then won the next two editions of the tournament before Uruguay won it again in 1950. Since inception, only European and South American teams have contested the final of the World. Overall, European teams have won the tournament twelve times, two times more than South American teams, who have won it ten times. A South American team – Brazil – have won the tournament more than any team, winning it five times. They are followed by a European team – Italy – who have won it four times.

Kylian Mbappe hopeful of winning his first UEFA European Championship

Away from the banter between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, the Frenchman reiterated his hope of winning the European Championship.

“I want to win the Euros. I have to be honest. I won the World Cup. I won the Nations League. That’s the only one that missed me with the national team after I did everything with the national team. I really want to win this. My first competition as captain, so it’s really important for me and it’s always important for the country and we want them to be proud of us. [It’s] another opportunity to write the history of my country,” he said.

Kylian Mbappe’s France are in Group D of Euro 2024 with Netherlands, Austria, and Poland. They will kick off their campaign against Austria on Monday, June 17, before taking on Netherlands and Poland on June 21 and June 25, respectively.


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