Diego Maradona has hit out at Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi by saying he couldn’t “make a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a match into the leader”.
However, Messi has sometimes been criticised for not turning up on the big stage for his national team as they were beaten 4-3 by France in the last-16 of the World Cup this summer.
And Maradona, who watched Argentina at the World Cup, thinks Messi’s pre-match antics mean he isn’t a worthy candidate for a leadership role.
“He does ask for it on the pitch, but before speaking to team-mates he’ll go and play the Playstation,” Maradona told Mexican programme ‘La Ultima Palabra’.
“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.
“Messi is Messi at Barcelona and Messi is Messi with Argentina.
“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.”