Diego Maradona is one of the biggest admirers of his compatriot, Lionel Messi.
The former Argentina boss has always backed the Barcelona superstar, long before he shot to stardom.
And despite Messi receiving criticism in his homeland for failing to reproduce his club form at international level, Maradona has hit out at the doubters.
In a recent interview with Fox Sports, Maradona revealed that the 25-year-old cried after being knocked out of the FIFA World Cup in 2010, showing how much Messi cares about Argentina.
"Now everyone wants to be Messi's friend.
"When he was not scoring goals or singing the national anthem they called him Spanish. They are all turncoats. When we were knocked out of the World Cup he was the one who cried the most.
"Tell that to the idiots who said he didn't play for the shirt. I was in a room and you could hear Messi crying, only Messi."
Maradona also hit out at those who said it was he who failed to get the best out of Messi for Argentina during his time in charge of the national side, a claim Maradona refutes.
"Every day he comes up with something new. We have an exceptional player before us. Now some stupid people are saying that it was me who made him play badly in the national team."
In an in-depth interview, Maradona also expressed his delight for Juan Roman Riquelme , who joined recently completed a move to Boca Juniors.
"I told him jokingly that he should get his fill," said Maradona. "He has to play and enjoy himself.
"To play for Boca is the most beautiful thing in the world and the best decision he could have taken. He has come back to a Boca that wants to win, he is no coward, he is ready for anything and I wish him the best."
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