Diego Maradona, in a candid one-on-one with Pele, has been recorded on microphone saying Messi “has no personality' and “lacks (the) character to be a leader”. Maradona, a vocal supporter of Lionel Messi so far, was joined by Pele who reminisced about the great leaders of their times.
Maradona has never been known to hold back on verbal volleys and speaking his mind. He famously accused Pele letting his former Brazil teammate Garrincha "die in misery” after having to share the Greatest football player of the century award with the Brazilian legend. But the two have patched up since, and it was Pele's turn to be at the better side of Maradona's lashing out yesterday.
When asked by Pele if he knew Messi personally, Maradona let out a candid remark and was caught on microphone saying, "He's a really good person, but he has no personality.
"He lacks [the] character to be a leader," reported si.com.
Pele responded saying, "Ah, I get it, he's not like we were back in the days. In the 70s, we [Brazil] had really good players like Rivellino, Gerson, Tostao.
"Not like Argentina now, which depends only on Messi. He [Maradona] is saying that Messi is a good player, there's no doubt about it, but he has no personality."
Maradona appears to grudge Messi's leadership after the latter led Argentina in a losing cause in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany and two Copa America finals.
Messi, meanwhile, is missing from the field in Argentina's centenary Copa America Cup campaign as he nurses a back injury. The talisman did not take the field against Chile in their first match which Argentina won 2-1 and may miss today's match against Panama.
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