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Diego Maradona aims criticism at Argentine compatriot Lionel Messi

15 October 2018

The Argentina legend, who is now managing Mexican second-tier side Dorados, dances in and out of the limelight at will, but his latest comments are sure to irk his fellow countryman Lionel Messi, with whom he previously managed at global level.

"We shouldn't deify Messi any longer", Maradona told Fox Sports. "Before speaking to the coach, he'll play PlayStation and then on the field, he asks to be and wants to be the leader", said Maradona, who was, quite frankly, talking in a suspicious state of mind.

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said the football world is witnessing an era of "two phenomena", with the exploits of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"You have to take the leadership away for him to be the Messi we want him to be", Maradona said. "It's useless trying to make a leader out of a man who goes to the toilet 20 times before a game", Maradona said.

The things that he is willing to talk about extend from politics to the universe and yes, even football, such as his comments about Lionel Messi this week.

"I wouldn't call Messi [for the national team] but never say never".

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Messi, who is 31, has not played for Argentina in three low-key friendlies since a 4-3 loss to eventual champions France in the first knock-out round at the World Cup, but has not officially retired from the national team.

And at the summer World Cup in Russian Federation, the South American nation failed to progress beyond the last 16 rounds after suffering a defeat against eventual champions France.

Diego Maradona's attempts to defend Lionel Messi turned into an incredible attack on the Barcelona superstar.

Biancucchi said, "It's sad to see how someone who boasts of being a leader can talk so badly about a player who's now the best we've got and will probably be so for a long time yet".

The report claims that there is a desire to add an extra year to Messi's contract, which would lead to the striker being tied down to the Catalan giants until 2022.

Diego Maradona aims criticism at Argentine compatriot Lionel Messi