Diego Maradona has said Lionel Messi should quit the Argentina team and send everyone “to hell”, ESPN reports.
Messi, who has scored 65 goals in 128 appearances since making his debut with Argentina in August 2005, has taken an indefinite leave of absence from international football since captaining Argentina to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Russia.
Asked what he would tell Messi, Maradona told Clarin newspaper, “Not to come (to the national team) again.”
When asked whether he meant to retire from the national team, Maradona said, “Yes, because if the under-15 side loses, it’s Messi’s fault. He is always at fault. I would tell him, “Don’t come (to the national team) anymore.”
Messi, who was under immense pressure to win his first major trophy with Argentina at the World Cup, has not publicly addressed his future.
Despite competing in four World Cups and four Copa Americas, the Barcelona forward has not won a major trophy for his country, and Argentina FA president Claudio Tapia has said he faced too much pressure heading into the World Cup earlier this year.
Maradona, who coached Messi and Argentina from 2008 to 2010, said he would have liked for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to have broken his silence.
“I would have liked for him to have sent everyone to hell,” Maradona said. “Because it’s not his fault not to be a world champion… Today the national team doesn’t awaken absolutely anything.
“Not even to the people. We have lost that. Passion. We are throwing all of the prestige that we won in the toilet.”
Legendary Argentina and Boca Juniors playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme, however, said he thinks Messi should return to the Argentina squad.
“I have no doubt that Messi will play again for the national team,” Riquelme told Fox Sports Argentina. “I talk to him a lot, not about the National Team, but about other things. Looking at it from the outside, I think he will come back. He loves playing for Argentina.”
Latest Nigeria News
- AC Milan lose to Olympiakos, will miss out on Europa League knockouts
- Paris Saint-Germain-Dijon among five postponed matches in Ligue 1
- Power Rankings: Barcelona top, Liverpool climb; Juventus, Man City drop
- Youngster Eddie Nketiah impresses, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil return vs. Qarabag
- Hislop: Dembele's problems stem from childhood
- Europa League exit will pose trouble for Milan
- Shaka's Power Rankings: Barcelona claim top spot
- Extra Time: No love for PSG, refs against Milan, are horses athletes?
- Arsenal teenager Bukayo Saka showed 'big personality' in full debut for Gunners
- Game-worn Diego Maradona shirts get ¬18,500 at auction
- Barcelona's Jordi Alba: No dressing room issues with Ousmane Dembele
- Man United supporters frustrated at present but can look to past for Anfield inspiration
- Exploding Heads: Sol Campbell is a genius
- Ex-Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli to join Brazilian club Santos
- Game-worn Diego Maradona shirts fetch ¬18,500 at auction
- Fantasy Premier League: Kane earns the armband
- Fantasy La Liga: Lionel Messi leads the line
- Nicol: Liverpool have enough to cover recent injuries
- Premier League Predictor: Showdown at Anfield
- FIFA president Gianni Infantino: Most federations favour 48-team World Cup in 2022
- Transfer Rater: Pochettino to Real Madrid? Pogba back to Juve?
- Sensational Giroud free kick earns Chelsea draw vs. Vidi in Europa League
- Liverpool to beat struggling Man United? Juventus to overcome Torino?
- Tottenham express 'great concern' at fan claims of mistreatment by Barcelona security
- Barcelona defender Gerard Pique linked with interest in buying FC Andorra
- Champions League XI: Mo Salah and Leroy Sane lead team of the week
- Thomas Muller's flying kick vs. Ajax was eerily accurate recreation of Bundesliga logo
- England FA CEO Martin Glenn to quit role at end of 2018-19 season
- Mourinho: Two players would make Man United team after Valencia loss
- Man United's lack of team spirit, Mourinho's negativity explains wide gap to rivals Liverpool
- Babbel: Wanderers can be giant killers
- Loftus-Cheek: Sterling right to speak out at racism
- Shaka Hislop explains why Zack Steffen chose Man City
- The pressure is on for France, Women's World Cup host
- Youthful Real Madrid beaten soundly by CSKA in group stage finale
- Columbus Crew SC interviews ex-Red Bulls GM Ali Curtis - sources
- Manchester United fall to Valencia, miss chance to win Champions League group
- Young Boys stun Juventus with brace from Guillaume Hoarau
- Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele apologised to team after being late to training - Carles Alena
- Man City win group as Sane double sinks Hoffenheim