Diego Maradona has always been fond of Lionel Messi, but at a point in his managerial career, the late footballer was not happy with the PSG star. He took shots at the former Barcelona forward and claimed that he was not a leader in the squad.
The footballing legend stated that it was 'useless' to make Messi the captain of the national team as he needed to use the restroom 20 times before a match because he was nervous. Maradona added that Messi does not have the qualities of a leader, despite being a top player.
Speaking in an interview with FOX Sports Mexico, Maradona was unfiltered and slammed Messi in 2018. He said:
"Messi is a great player but he goesn't get it. Before speaking to the coach, he'll play PlayStation and then on the field, he asks to be and wants to be the leader. It's useless to try and make a leader out of someone that goes to the bathroom 20 times before a game."
Lionel Messi went on to captain Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory two years after Maradona passed away.
Lionel Messi gets statue next to Diego Maradona
Lionel Messi was honored with a statue by CONMEBOL after he helped Argentina win the FIFA World Cup in 2022. He led the South American side and went on to win the Golden Ball while losing the Golden Boot by a goal to PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe.
Speaking at the ceremony organized by CONMEBOL, Messi admitted it was an honor to have a statue next to Diego Maradona and Pele. He said:
"I'm fulfilled with this; it was what I was missing. Thank God I got everything in football. I keep these cups in the museum at home. Thanks to CONMEBOL for this tribute to us and to Sole for the song, we listen to it a lot and it reminds me of when she sang it to Diego.
"We are living very beautiful moments, we were lucky to return to Argentina after the World Cup and we received many expressions of affection. It was different, that's how the people of Argentina show it."
Lionel Messi could be heading back to Barcelona this summer when his PSG contract expires.