Former Argentina international, Diego Maradona, has always had a problem with Lionel Messi’s modest exterior, and in his latest interview, Maradona has once again taken aim at the player’s leadership qualities, suggesting that he is never going to become the leader people expect him to be. 

Widely hailed as the best player in history, Diego Maradona, can’t seem to come to terms with his countryman, Messi’s achievements, and has often found it absolutely necessary to take swipes at the 31-year-old.

Messi, who never really took the time to hit back at his idol, has developed into one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. His mesmerizing work on the ball, supreme decision making, and the ability to influence play in the most difficult of situations make him one of the standout performers of this era, but Maradona, one way or the other, has always managed to criticize him for his lack of vociferous management.

The Dorados manager, who was recently admitted to a hospital for an emergency operation to repair some internal bleeding, has once again come out swinging at his compatriot, blasting him for his apparent lack of leadership.

“I love Messi with all my heart,” Maradona told Argentine newspaper ‘Olé’ after recently being discharged from the hospital, as reported by Mirror.

“They want to make him a leader but he isn’t able to do that because he’s going to be in his sporting world and with his family,” he concluded.

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Messi, who has bagged 5 Ballon d’Ors for his contribution to the world’s sport, regularly delivers for Barcelona in clutch situations. In all honesty, the player hasn’t always been able to replicate his Barcelona heroics with his country, but Maradona’s continued criticism still comes off as an unnecessary and desperate act to please one section of the crowd.

A few months back, following Argentina’s exit from the Russia World Cup, Maradona blamed Messi’s lack of leadership for his country’s misfortunes.

“He’s a great player but he doesn’t do it. It’s a waste of time to make him a leader when he needs to go to the bathroom twenty times before a match. He’s scared. Let’s not depend on Messi any more,” he told ESPN.

The comments, as expected, caused a major ruckus on social media, prompting the 1986 World Cup hero’s lawyer to come up with a cover-up.

Maradona’s lawyer Matias Morla, as reported by Mirror, said: “What Diego wanted to say was, ‘Don’t keep on at Messi about him needing to be a leader.’”


“That was the meaning of what he said. Messi is not a leader. He’s in Barcelona playing in a team where everyone is playing well and as a team and that’s it.”

“Everyone’s saying Diego was criticising Messi but it’s not true. Maradona has a way of speaking and he put that phrase about the toilet out there, partly guided by the Mexican journalist who was interviewing him and it created this situation.”

“Tomorrow Maradona is going to call Messi, not to say sorry but to explain to him that what he meant to say was that they shouldn’t be putting so much pressure on him, on the contrary,” he concluded.

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