Diego Maradona unexpectedly slams and mocks Lionel Messi
What's the story?
In a surprising and unexpected outburst, Argentinian legend, Diego Maradona, has taken aim at Lionel Messi, slamming him publicly.
Maradona, who is currently managing Dorados - a team in the Mexican Second Division, hit out against Messi and his role as a captain.
In case you didn't know...
Having managed Messi and Argentina during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Maradona interacted with and observed Messi both, on and off the pitch. Back then, Argentina crashed out in the quarter-finals after a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Germany.
Earlier this summer, Argentina crashed out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 4-3 defeat to France in the Round of 16. Following the defeat, Messi reportedly offered to take a break from International football.
The heart of the matter
According to the latest reports from ESPN, in a recent interview with Fox Sports, Maradona had some vehement things to say about Messi. The legendary footballer criticized Messi's leadership qualities:
"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"
"He's a great player but he's not a leader"
As per reports from The Daily Express, Maradona also lambasted Messi for his pre-match antics while also mocking his cases of extreme nervousness before matches:
"He does ask for it on the pitch, but before speaking to team-mates he'll go and play the Playstation,”
"For me it's difficult 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 also said that Messi should be on break and that Argentina shouldn't call him back just yet, while also claiming that Messi should not be made captain again.
"I wouldn't call up Messi, but never say never. There's a need to take pressure off him."
“There's a need to take the leadership away from Messi, as we want him to be Messi, which he wouldn't be."
Video: The match that knocked Argentina out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Argentina gear up to take on Brazil on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, and they will have to do without the services of Lionel Messi.