Lionel Messi has been compared to Argentina legend Diego Maradona by veteran ex-Colombia coach Francisco Maturana. That happened after the attacker acted as a true leader by standing up for his teammates in their abandoned match versus Brazil three days ago.
“Diego is a party, Messi is tenderness, he is science, an exquisite perfume. Diego is the neighborhood," Maturana said of the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
“With Messi you are always ready to applaud him, with Diego you used to be ready to celebrate.
“Diego was something else, the hometown boy, everybody's friend, he did not stop at leading us or giving us his perfumed football, but as a friend he was there to defend you at any time, you don't forget that.
“They are different people, with different sensibilities.”
Lionel Messi led his Argentina teammates to the Corinthians Arena on Sunday to face Brazil in their World Cup qualifier clash. However, the match was interrupted just 10 minutes after kick-off by health authorities.
According to Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), four Argentina players provided false information upon their entry into the country. Giovani Lo Celso, Emiliano Martinez, Emiliano Buendia, and Cristian Romero were accused of breaking Covid-19 protocols.
It was claimed that the quartet refused to disclose that they had spent time in the United Kingdom in the 14 days ahead of their arrival in Brazil.
Meanwhile, with the clash suspended, an angry Lionel Messi was seen confronting health officials. The attacker proved to be a true leader, defending his teammates and refusing to condone disrespect.
Lionel Messi following in Diego Maradona's footsteps
Lionel Messi has always been compared to Diego Maradona ever since he broke onto the scene in the mid-2000s. After leading the Albiceleste to Copa America triumph this summer, the playmaker gained even more ground in the debate for the greatest Argentina player ever.
Like Diego Maradona, Messi seems to be taking the leadership role on the pitch more seriously in recent years. He's transformed from being the shy and quiet type to becoming more vocal. With the World Cup coming up next year, it remains to be seen if he can match Maradona's legacy by leading Argentina to success.