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'Messi is Always to Blame': Maradona Advises Argentina Star Against Return to National Team

“What would I tell Messi? To not come back anymore. To retire,” Diego Maradona said.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 1, 2018, 9:54 PM IST
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'Messi is Always to Blame': Maradona Advises Argentina Star Against Return to National Team
“What would I tell Messi? To not come back anymore. To retire,” Diego Maradona said.
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Diego Maradona has advised Lionel Messi against a return to the national team, as the Barcelona star remains tight-lipped about his future involvement with the team.

The Argentine national team experienced yet another disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia, crashing out at the round-of-16 stage to France. Then manager Jorge Sampaoli lost his job as a result, and Messi has not been a part of the subsequent two squads picked by Lionel Scaloni, the team’s interim manager.

“What would I tell Messi? To not come back anymore. To retire,” Maradona told Clarin.

“The Under-15s lose and it is Messi’s fault, the fixture list in Argentina puts Racing against Boca and Messi is to blame. He is always to blame. Stop breaking my b***s.”

“I would tell him, ‘don’t go anymore, man’. Let’s see if they can handle that. Let’s see if they’re really big men.”

Interim coach Scaloni has previously spoken about Messi’s future involvement in the team, saying that the number 10 jersey is waiting for him.

“In this time, the 10 shirt belongs to Messi, and it will stay this way until he decides if he will continue with us or not. We aren’t closed to that chance so I chose to keep this number for him. In the future we will see, but if you look at the players who played the World Cup you will see they kept their numbers, and we will wait for the future to see what happens. But so far no one is using the 10 because it is exclusive for him and that is my decision. There is nothing else about this.”

However, Maradona was of the opinion that Messi’s witch-hunt has gone too far.

“I would have liked to see him tell us all to f**k off. Because he is not to blame for us not being world champions. Fine, we all placed our hopes in him, but when you go to the racetrack, you hope your horse wins and he comes in eighth,” he said.

“In Formula One, Vettel has a great engine and Hamilton beats him. Right now, the national team doesn’t do anything for me or the people. We have lost that. The passion. It cannot play against Nicaragua or Malta, no, brother. We are throwing all the prestige we earned down the toilet.”

Argentina’s next two international fixtures are against Iraq on October 11, and Brazil on October 16.


| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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