Argentina legend, Diego Maradona has spoken about Messi’s now reversed retirement from international football. The legends statements were not too happy as he speculated that Messi probably staged his retirement.
He was referring to Messi’s retirement from international football after Argentina lost the Copa America Centenario final to Chile earlier this summer, in which the 29-year-old had declared;
“It’s not meant for me. For me the national team is over. I’ve done all I can, it hurts not to be a champion…It’s been four finals, I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn’t get it, so I think it’s over, I think this is best for everyone. First of all for me, and then for everyone. I think there’s a lot of people who want this, who obviously are not satisfied, as we are not satisfied reaching a final and not winning it.”
Diego Maradona says Messi may have staged the entire thing. Maradona who coached Messi at the 2010 World Cup, told TyC Sports;
“[Messi] escaped the criticism but the Argentines suffered…Maybe his retirement was staged to make us forget about the three final losses.”
This would not be the first time that Maradona has been critical about Messi. He has also raised doubts about the footballer’s leadership abilities going into the tournament;
“He is a great person, but he has no personality…He doesn’t have the personality to be a leader.”
That’s some heavy criticism coming from someone who Messi has been compared to almost throughout his career, considering Messi’s lack of a major international trophy is one of the things often used in this comparison. In Diego Maradona’s corner is Argentina’s World Cup win in 1986, whereas Messi’s only taste of international success is the gold medal he won at the 2008 Olympics.
Messi has however reversed his decision to retire and is now part of new manager Edgardo Bauza’s first squad for next week’s World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.