Diego Maradona has launched a scathing attack on Louis van Gaal after likening the Manchester United manager to the devil over his treatment of Radamel Falcao.
The Argentine football legend has been heavily critical of the veteran Dutch coach's man-management skills, and claimed the Red Devils boss is to blame for the Colombian striker's struggles at Old Trafford this term.
Maradona was speaking at a press conference in Bogota where he was promoting a charity match, and leapt to the defence of the AS Monaco loanee who has contributed just four goals over the past eight months in England.
“Van Gaal is not a nice guy,” the 54-year-old was quoted saying by The Guardian. “Van Gaal is closer to the devil than anything.”
Regarding Falcao's difficult spell at the Theatre of Dreams Maradona sympathised with El Tigre, suggesting the long-term cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered last season has prevented him from recapturing his best form in the Premier League.
“His time was cut short after the injury and he has to adapt to the move,” he added at the media briefing which was shown on the YouTube channel of TV station Canal Capital.
The fact that record-signing Angel di Maria has endured an equally underwhelming debut campaign at Manchester United following his £59.7 million move from Real Madrid last summer will not be lost on Maradona, whose surprising comments have also helped deflect attention away from his compatriot.
Di Maria's international team-mate Marcos Rojo has enjoyed a little more success, but has hardly blown anyone away either, so Red Devils supporters should not read too much into Maradona's claims about their manager.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Louis van Gaal is to blame for the poor form of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao? Have your say below...