Diego Maradona backtracks on Messi 'toilet' criticism, calls him 'best in the world'
What's the story?
Argentine legend Diego Maradona has completely backtracked on the degrading remarks he made on Lionel Messi recently, calling the Barcelona star "the best in the world".
In case you didn't know...
Maradona recently attacked Messi for his performances with Argentina, even stating that it is pointless to make a leader out of him.
Speaking to FOX Sports, Maradona had said, "We shouldn’t deify Messi any longer. He’s Messi when he plays for Barcelona. Messi is Messi when he wears that shirt and he’s another Messi with Argentina."
"Before talking to the coach and players, he'll play on the PlayStation. Then, on the pitch, he wants to be the leader. He's the best along with Cristiano Ronaldo but for me, it's pointless to make a leader out of a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a match," Maradona went on to add.
Maradona's comments drew criticism from fans and saw several pundits and players refuting the claims.
The heart of the matter
Maradona has now taken a U-turn on the comments saying that they were taken out of context, while also criticizing the media for trying to strain his relationship with the Barcelona star.
The Argentine reiterated that the Barcelona forward is the greatest in the world, saying, "I know who Leo is, I know he’s the best player in the world. If I said a player goes to the toilet 20 times before a game, I never named Lionel Messi."
"They want to put me into a confrontation with Messi but they cannot. The friendship I have with Lionel is bigger than anything they can write, and I’m saying that he’s the greatest in the world," he added.
Maradona coached the five-time Ballon d'Or winner during his stint with the Argentina national team from 2008 to 2010.
Following Argentina's exit from the World Cup, Messi had taken a break from international duties and is yet to make his return. The Barcelona star's international future is still very much in the air and whether we see him in an Argentina shirt again remains to be seen.