Diego Maradona: Lionel Messi once played alongside the legend as an 18-year-old

Lionel Messi & Diego Maradona

Lionel Messi paid tribute to the late Diego Maradona yesterday after the Argentine legend sadly passed away at the age of 60.

The Barcelona superstar posted a touching message on his official Facebook and Instagram accounts.

"A very sad day for all Argentines and for football,” the 33-year-old wrote. “He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal.

"I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and I send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP."

Messi has often been labelled as Maradona's successor and he also played under the 1986 World Cup winner with the Argentine national team from 2008-2010.

Messi & Maradona

But the pair's professional relationship wasn't just restricted to player and manager. Back in 2005, the two shared a pitch as players in an 'Argentinian All Star' charity game.

Messi was just 18 at the time, while Maradona was 45. Juan Riquelme, Diego Simeone, Marcelo Gallardo, Sergio Aguero and Juan Sebastian Veron were other Argentine stars to feature in the match.

You can watch footage of Messi and Maradona linking up together below.

The day an 18-year-old Messi played with Maradona

We've seen worse partnerships on a football pitch...

Despite many younger football fans believing Messi to be the greatest to have laced a pair of boots, the Barcelona man is in no doubt about who he thinks is the GOAT.

“Even if I played for a million years, I’d never come close to Maradona," Messi previously said. “Not that I’d want to anyway. He’s the greatest there’s ever been.”

Maradona really was a unique footballer, a larger than life character that thrilled fans of the sport like no other player has or ever will do. RIP, Diego.

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