Maradona stands by Messi criticism

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Diego Maradona has restated his belief that Lionel Messi may not be the best person to captain Argentina, but insisted that he is not criticising the Barcelona talisman.

While speaking to Pele recently, Maradona was overheard saying that Messi had “no personality” and lacked the character needed to be a leader.

Maradona said he stands by his views, but reiterated that it wasn’t meant as a personal attack on the 28-year-old.

“I still think the same thing I told Pele,” he told Diario Popular. “But I do not want it to look like a criticism. It is not so.

“The boy [Messi] they want as a leader and leaders are made alone.”

Meanwhile, Maradona added he feels that Messi is being weighed down by the added pressure of captaining his country even though he came off the bench to score a hat-trick in 19 minutes against Panama in the Copa America on Saturday.

“If you demand Leo plays with his right [leg], he will play poorly. You have to let him play,” Maradona said.