Video of Lionel Messi's leadership skills refutes Diego Maradona's latest comments

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga

It's fair to say Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi have a somewhat complex relationship.

Both accepted as two of the greatest players in football history and sharing the same nationality, the younger Messi has been compared to his predecessor since the early days of his career.

And now the Barcelona star has established himself as an all-time great, he is firmly in the GOAT (greatest of all time) conversation with Maradona, Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi hasn't spoken about Maradona on too many occasions throughout his career, but the same can't be said in the opposite direction.

It must be noted, Maradona has had plenty of compliments for his compatriot over the years but has continued to raise questions about his leadership qualities.

Maradona criticises Messi

Speaking in October, Maradona commented: "He's a great player but he's not a leader. It's useless trying to make a leader out of a man who goes to the toilet 20 times before a game."

No holding back there then and fast forward three months, the same has happened again with the 58-year-old reluctantly reinforcing his point.

Maradona remarked that 'he will never be a leader' and his full comments can be read here.


Video on Messi's leadership

Messi has captained his country for a number of years now and upon the departure of Andres Iniesta last summer, has also assumed leadership responsibilities with Barcelona.

And although the Spanish Super Cup is the only trophy Messi has a captained a team to, is he really as bad of a leader as Maradona makes him out to be?

Well, one football fan tried to solve that question back in the summer, producing a video on Messi's leadership and mentorship that now appears more relevant than ever.

It shows that although Messi isn't the vocal, boisterous captain you'd associate with players like Sergio Ramos, he leads by example and picks the right moments to intervene.

It makes for an interesting watch - check it out down below: 

Maradona's comments never felt so harsh.

The video documents moments where Messi has taken control of the situation, either to inspire his teammates into improving or encourage them with moments of humility.

There are instances of what you would call traditional leadership such as his half-time team talk during Argentina vs Nigeria this summer.

But there are also less conventional instances like passing on a penalty to teammates or directing them during a match, showing the signs of a mentor.


Messi is one of the most senior players for his club and country now, so is inevitably showing signs of leadership in all its forms.

Is the role of a captain one of his greatest assets? Absolutely not but Maradona has probably taken his assessments a little too far in recent months.

Besides, he's got plenty to achieve as Argentina and Barcelona's captain going forward.

Do you think Maradona has been too harsh on Messi? Have your say in the comments section below.

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