Argentina's 1986 World Cup hero and arguably one of the greatest players to have graced the beautiful game, Diego Maradona has called into question the leadership abilities of his heir and national team skipper Lionel Messi.
While Lionel Messi is one of Argentina's best players in recent times, though his countryman Diego Maradona believes that that Barcelona attacker lacks the leadership qualities to inspire others around him.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a plethora of success when it comes to club football, and after spending more than a decade conquering the footballing sphere, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has somehow failed to deliver the goods for his country.
Knowing the quality that Lionel Messi possess, comes great expectation and with that comes immense pressure. But, the diminutive Argentina has repeatedly failed in this department, having struggled to lead his country to glory in recent years.
Although, Messi might still be a hero in the eyes of his countrymen, but not in the eyes of Diego Maradona. The Argentine legend believes that Lionel Messi is the wrong choice for being the skipper of the national team, but is unquestionably their best player.
Diego Maradona who witnessed Argentina struggle at this summer's World Cup Russia told La Ultima Palabra Mexico: Messi is a great player, but he’s not a leader"
“Before talking to the coach and players, he’ll play on the PlayStation. Then, on the field, he wants to be the leader. He’s the best in the world with Cristiano [Ronaldo].
“For me, it’s difficult to say it but it’s useless to make a leader out of a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game.
“There’s no two ways about it. Let’s stop making a God out of Messi. Messi is just another player for Argentina."
A few weeks back, Diego Maradona has asked Lionel Messi to retire from international football, stating 'blame is pinned at Messi for everything'. Lionel Messi, the highest goalscorer in his country's history, has not featured even once for his national side ever since their exit from the World Cup 2018. While the Barcelona superstar is yet to comment on his future, Maradona believes he should retire once and for all.
Speaking to Clarin, he said, "What would I tell Messi? To not come back any more. To retire The Under-15s lose and it is Messi's fault, the fixture list in Argentina puts Racing against Boca and Messi is to blame. He is always to blame. Stop breaking my balls."