Barcelona’s Lionel Messi speaks with former Argentina player Diego Maradona before the start of the awards Action Images via Reuters
CAIRO – 1 November 2017: Legendary footballer Diego Armamdo Maradona has been very tough with Argentinean national team coach Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina and with some of the players of the national team.
Maradona has returned to defend Lionel Messi, the Argentinean star, with whom he met at the last gala of the Best 2017 awards.
In an interview with Argentinean newspaper Clarín on the occasion of his birthday, Maradona said, “What I’ve never liked though is those who try to sell me smoke. I remember when I was in Croatia watching the Davis Cup final, Jorge Sampaoli called me to talk about doing a project at Sevilla together. Then once he was called to lead the national team, he didn’t even remember my name.”
“I’d never have worked with those who are fake, mediocre and think they are bigger than they are. I don’t agree with him or with the president of the Argentinean FA, Claudio Tapia,” Maradonna continued. “He promised me one thing and then did another. The best leader we have is [Boca Juniors President Daniel] Angelici, and I’d call Marcello Tinelli.”
Regarding Leo Messi, Maradona said that "he does not need to win a World Cup to be a big one; he already is," and that "he is alone.”
“Dybala is a great player, but he is at another speed, at another power. He plays like in Italy and in the national team. You have to show technique, not be an athlete," he added.