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Diego Maradona has hit out at compatriot Lionel Messi, saying the forward is not a leader on the pitch and should not be considered a footballing god.

Lionel Messi "is not a leader", Diego Maradona said of the current Argentina talisman in an interview in Mexico.

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

'Before talking to the coach and players, he'll play on the PlayStation.

Diego Maradona criticised Lionel Messi in a freakish interview in Mexico.

"He is the best in the world along with Cristiano (Ronaldo)", Maradona said.

Messi is now taking a break from the national team, and Maradona thinks it was probably the right decision to give the superstar some rest. After recently stating that the FC Barcelona superstar is always blamed for Argentina defeats, Maradona has now criticised his leadership qualities.

Khaldoon's quote printed in the newspaper was: "We asked Guardiola to talk to him, we offered him triple the salary he has at Barcelona, but he never accepted".

Paulo DYBALA is hoping to make a name for himself with the Argentina national team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Messi looked incredibly stressed throughout the World Cup in Russian Federation, where Argentina were eliminated by eventual winners France in the round of 16. "I'd call him up and play him how I know Messi plays".

Biancucchi said, "It's sad to see how someone who boasts of being a leader can talk so badly about a player who's now the best we've got and will probably be so for a long time yet".

Messi and Maradona are both revered in Argentina as the best two players the football-mad country has ever produced.

The report claims that there is a desire to add an extra year to Messi's contract, which would lead to the striker being tied down to the Catalan giants until 2022.