He doesn't have to perform on any stage! Does proving yourself in a tournament make you any better? I always thought if you're the best on the football you're the best. Unless you take a defensive stand point then it's Beckenbauer.
People talk about Maradona carrying a team but times have changed, in no game did he ever have 3-4 players around him once he touched the ball.
It's a competition, where luck & timing is more important than skill. Had Maradona not done the "hand of god" and didn't beat England would he not be considered as good because he never would of won a world cup? How about if Pele didn't have 10 of the best players in the world around him at the time.
It's all about timing, had pele been in this current Brazil team I'm not sure he'd win a world cup. If Messi was in the Argentina of '86 he would of went on to win the world cup. As Argentina were average but so were a lot of the countries at the time.
Had Messi of chosen to be Spanish and won the world cup in 2010, he would get "he can't win without Xavi/Iniesta" it's a losing battle. When he's retired and the new generation are looking back on players, he'd be looked at as the greatest and every Argentine player will be compared to him instead of Maradona.
Anyone remember the comparisons to Stanley Matthews? No because it's a different generation so they compare the newer players to '66-'12.