'Let's stop making a god out of Lionel Messi'

The 1986 World Cup victor went on to criticise Messi's leadership on and off the field, implying that he suffered from extreme nerves before big games and had to visit the toilet frequently.

'If we are favourites it means we are good, really good, ' he said. "But he's not a leader".

"Let's stop making a god out of Messi. Messi is Messi for Barcelona, but playing in an Argentina shirt he is another Messi", he asserted.

However, Messi's cousin, Maxi Biancucchi have had enough of Maradona's jibe and made a decision to respond to his latest comments.

He added: "I wouldn't call him up right now, but never say never".

"You have to take the pressure off him in order to get the leader we want Messi to be, that he will not be".

The 1986 World Cup victor claimed the Barcelona forward played differently when he was representing the Spanish side and said it was a waste of time trying to turn him into a leader 'because he goes to the toilet 20 times before a match'.

Argentina are unbeaten in three friendlies since Russian Federation 2018, while Messi has netted 11 goals in as many competitive club appearances this season.

Big-spending City were linked with moves for the likes of Kaka and Messi for many years, before assembling a record-breaking Premier League outfit under Pep Guardiola.

The comments are sure to hurt Messi, but when he takes one glance at his trophy cabinet we'll sure he'll forget Maradona's unexpected outburst in no time.

At the Festival dello Sport in Trento, Guardiola was asked about coaching in Italy.

City insist they "absolutely refute" this version of events, stating that Al Mubarak provided no extra information.

"We deny the veracity of these quotes", a City spokesman said.

In recent time, Argentina football followers have found the 31-year-old Messi guilty of not giving his best for the Albiceleste side when compared to his performances at Spanish giants Barcelona.

  • Stacy Allen