Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi doesn’t possess the personality to carry a team, that is the surprising assessment from Diego Maradona.
Given his trophy haul at club level, it’s widely acknowledged that the Argentine legend was merely referring to the national team, with whom Messi has yet to win a major title.
With five Ballon d’Or winner trophies coupled with countless pieces of silverware won during his time at the Nou Camp, Messi has proven his class time and time again to establish himself as one of, if not the, best player in the world.
However, his on-going inability to inspire Argentina to a major tournament win continues to hold him back, and Maradona has delivered a pretty harsh assessment of him.
“He is a great person, but he has no personality,” Maradona told reporters at a promotional event in Paris. “He doesn’t have the personality to be a leader.”
Maradona knows all about being a leader himself given his heroics with Napoli and the Argentine national team, as he inspired them to Scudetto glory and the 1986 World Cup respectively.
In contrast, the closest Messi has come to the World Cup was two years ago in Brazil, but he missed out as his side fell to a defeat to Germany.
While he now looks ahead to recovering from injury to play in the rest of the Copa America this summer, the 28-year-old will be desperate to end his long wait for success with the Albiceleste, and in turn prove Maradona wrong.
The football icon arguably has a point and he hasn’t been critical of Messi’s ability as a player, and so it will be down to those around the Barcelona man or himself to step up and lead the team to a trophy this summer.