Messi is not a leader - Maradona

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"For me it's hard to talk, but it's pointless wanting to make a man who goes to the bathroom 20 times before a match into the leader".

Lionel Messi is not fit to be a leader in part because he prefers PlayStation to conversing with team-mates, according to Diego Maradona.

After Argentina bowed out in the last 16 to France in this year's World Cup in Russia, Messi chose to take a break from worldwide football, a decision which Maradona supports.

"Messi's a great player, but he's not a leader", the Dorados coach told La Ultima Palabra Mexico.

Maradona went on to say fans should not worship anymore, "Messi at Barcelona is one thing and with Argentina he is another one", and how if he managed the national team he would have a good idea on how to utilize him.

"We shouldn't deify Messi any longer", Maradona said.

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"Let's stop making a god out of Messi".

"He is the best in the world along with Cristiano [Ronaldo]".

But Al Mubarak confirmed that there was truth to reports City were hoping to recruit five-time Ballon d'Or victor Messi, with former Barca boss Guardiola tasked with speaking to the Argentinian.

Maradona, who is in Mexico coaching second-division Sinaloa, said that if he was Argentina coach he would "not call on Messi" before adding "never say never".

Argentina are unbeaten in three games since their disappointing World Cup campaign, beating Iraq 4-0 on Thursday in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. We have to take the pressure off him.

"There's a need to take the leadership away from Messi, as we want him to be Messi, which he wouldn't be". Messi has a completely different style than Ronaldo.

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