Lionel Messi does not need to win the World Cup to be considered a great, says Jose Mourinho

Messi stumbled at the final hurdle in the defeat to Germany in the Maracana

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said that Lionel Messi does not need to win the World Cup to go down in the pantheon of great players.

The Argentina No 10 suffered defeat in the World Cup final and struggled to really have an impact as Germany won 1-0 after extra-time in the Maracana.

The 27-year-old scored four times in seven matches at the tournament but failed to find the net in the four knockout stages.

However, none of that matters according to the Chelsea manager, who says Messi is still one of the best ever.

"It's easy to respect him when he has won but when he has lost, it's not so easy," the Portuguese told Yahoo.

"He is still a historical player. He does not need to be world champion to be a historical player, especially in this last decade.

"For me Pele is Pele and Maradona is Maradona. It's not for me to compare players from different generations. Maybe because he is from the same generation as when I was born -- for me Maradona is Maradona."