Football legend Diego Maradona attended a publicity event in Paris on the eve of Euro 2016
Argentina and Brazil legends Diego Maradona and Pele attended a publicity event in Paris yesterday and the former Barcelona star made disparaging comments about five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Maradona made 91 appearances for Argentina and is widely considered as one of the best players to ever play the game.
Pele was also in attendance in Paris, and tales with Maradona about Lionel Messi
The Mail reports how three-time World Cup winner Pelé asked Maradona if he knew Messi personally, to which the Argentine legend offered a candid response:
"He's a really good person, but he has no personality. He lacks the character to be a leader."
Although Maradona's words seem harsh, he most certainly has a case when the performances of Messi are analysed. He often looks disinterested in the game when Barca are out of possession, and has failed to galvanise his side on big Champions League nights when they have been trailing away from home. A prime example of this was Barca's quarter-final away leg at Atletico Madrid when Messi cut a forlorn figure as the Catalans failed to break Atleti's resistance.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi struggled to influence his side when they need him most against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League
Brazil legend Pele then responded, agreeing with Maradona's sentiments, whilst highlighting how the Argentina national team is entirely reliant on Messi:
"Ah, I get it, he's not like we were back in the days. In the '70s we had really good players like Rivellino, Gerson, Tostado. Not like Argentina now, which depends only on Messi. He is saying that Messi is a good player, there's no doubt about it, but he has no personality."
Messi missed Argentina's first game of the Copa America as he continues to recover from a slight back injury, but is expected to be back for their game against Panama tonight in Chicago.
Messi wasn't involved in Argentina's opening game at the Copa America as he continues his recovery from injury