Messi ‘not a leader’, believes Maradona

The National - News - - SPORT FOOTBALL -

Ar­gentina great Diego Maradona does not be­lieve Lionel Messi is not a leader on the pitch and should not be con­sid­ered a foot­balling leg­end. Maradona said Messi was one player at his club Barcelona and an­other with the na­tional side. “We shouldn’t de­ify Messi any longer,” Maradona told Fox Sports. “He’s Messi when he plays for Barcelona ... and he’s an­other Messi with Ar­gentina. He’s a great player but he’s not a leader.” Messi, 31, has claimed ev­ery pos­si­ble hon­our with Barcelona and has won the Fifa World Player of the Year award five times. But he has strug­gled to re­pro­duce the same form for Ar­gentina. Messi has been on the los­ing side in all four of his fi­nals with Ar­gentina. Af­ter an­other dis­ap­point­ing tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, Messi took a break from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball. “I wouldn’t call him up right now, but never say never. We have to take the pres­sure off him,” Maradona said.

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