Fans blast Maradona for mocking and criticizing Messi
Argentina legend Diego Maradona seems to be on the receiving end a backlash from some football fans after he openly mocked Lionel Messi. In what has been a quiet international break so far, Maradona has just ignited a long-standing debate over who the better player is between himself and the Barcelona star.
Speaking in an interview with Fox Sports, Maradona criticized Messi’s performances for Argentina, suggesting the 31-year-old only plays well when he wears the Barcelona shirt.
He went on to question Messi’s leadership skills, emphatically stating that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is “not a leader”.
"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 if that was not enough, the controversial Maradona added that Messi should not be called back to the Argentina national team anytime soon.
According to him, the Barca star needs to be stripped off the national team captaincy because he can never be a leader to his teammates.
"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.”
"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."
Maradona’s latest comments appear not to amuse a lot of football fans, who have turned on the Argentina legend.
Many fans on Twitter, notably that of Barcelona, believe Maradona is only jealous of his younger compatriot and that is why he spoke that way.
Let’s take a look at some of the best tweets: