Maradona lashes out at Messi in greatest player debate

Maradona lashes out at Messi in greatest player debate

In a questionable state during an interview with Fox Sports Mexico's "La Ultima Palabra", Diego Armando Maradona heavily criticized Lionel Messi as well as giving other freaky comments, which at times seemed worrying.

'Messi's a great player, but he's not a leader, ' Maradona told Fox Sports Mexico. Messi is Messi when he wears that shirt and he's another Messi with Argentina. Messi at Barcelona is one thing and with Argentina he is another one'.

"He's a great player but he's not a leader".

"For me it's hard to talk, but it's pointless wanting to make a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a match into the leader".

Maradona, who is now in charge of Mexican second division side Dorados, coached Messi while manager of Argentina between 2008 and 2010.

That comment was believed to refer to Messi's extreme nerves before games, which have seen him vomit ahead of some important matches.

Messi has been on the losing side in all four of his finals with Argentina three in the Copa America and at the 2014 World Cup and has not scored in four World Cup knockout stages.

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The World Cup victor was speaking about the Argentina national team and discussed the No.10, suggesting that Messi's pre-match behaviour should rule him out of a leadership role.

The 31-year-old has captained Argentina since 2011 but Maradona, who guided his nation to glory at the World Cup in 1986, believes the Barcelona star has no leadership qualities and believes he should be considered as an equal to Cristiano Ronaldo. "I gave my vote to Claudio Tapia [AFA president], who knows nothing of football, but he betrayed me because he hired Jorge Sampaoli, who is not good enough for Argentina".

Messi wasn't involved as Argentina thrashed Iraq 4-0 on Thursday, with Lautaro Martinez, Roberto Pereyra, German Pezzella and Franco Cervi all on target.

He said: 'I wouldn't call Messi but never say never.

"You have to take the pressure off him in order to get the leader we want Messi to be, that he will not be".

A sterner test will take place on Tuesday when they face Brazil in Saudi Arabia - without Messi.

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