What’s the story?
Argentina legend Diego Maradona has fully enjoyed Lionel Messi's rebellious behavior at this year’s Copa America. Maradona has heaped praise on his compatriot's Copa America "corruption" jibe and also insisted that it reminded him of himself.
In case you didn’t know
Argentina captain Messi has been banned from international football for three months and handed a fine of $50000 after his outburst against the South American football chiefs.
Messi was controversially sent off for the second time in his career in their third-place play-off match against Chile and afterwards hold nothing back against the South American football governing body, alleging the cup was all set up for Brazil.
“We don't need to be part of the corruption that we've suffered at this tournament,” Messi claimed afterwards.
"We don't need to be part of the lack of respect we've suffered during this Copa América."
"We could have gone further, but they didn't let us be in the final." The Argentine FA had already filed a complaint to CONMEBOL over “serious and gross refereeing errors” in Argentina’s controversial 2-0 defeat against hosts, and eventual winners, Brazil in the semi-final, questioning the integrity of the tournament.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to Argentine media outlets “TyC Sports” and “La Red,” Maradona has reflected on Lionel Messi’s changed attitude during the Copa America.
"He seemed to me like a Messi in Maradona mode," Maradona said as quoted by SPORT.
"I saw him rebelling more, saying what he felt and winning on the pitch without anyone fixing any games.”
"I like this Messi more, that's with his family, that you see playing with his dog or having a beer. I like this Messi more than the one they criticized because he didn't sing the national anthem."
"Everything that Messi does is profiting Argentina."
Messi has got seven days in his hands to appeal CONMEBOL’s decision and if the ban stands, then the Barcelona ace will miss Argentina’s friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany in September and October.Published 04 Aug 2019, 19:00 IST