By James Agberebi
Argentina legend Diego Maradona has described national team captain Lionel Messi as incapable of solving the problems bedeviling the Albiceleste and has therefore demanded access to the team ahead of their crucial final World Cup group game against Nigeria on June 26 in St. Petersburg.
The two-time World Cup winners are on the brink of going out of the tournament after a surprise 1-1 draw with Iceland which was followed by a 3-0 spanking against Group D leaders Croatia.
Following the poor results, it is believed head coach Jorge Sampaoli has been at war with a number of his top players, including Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero who spoke out against the coach following the defeat against Croatia, suggesting he (Sampaoli) didn’t know what he was doing.
According to The Mirror, Maradona reckons Messi, who has been a shadow of himself so far in this year’s World Cup, has done well on the pitch but insists the Albiceleste skipper is not a leader.
He said: “Leo has played as well as he could, but it is difficult to solve the problems of your peers – and I should know. The kid is just not a leader.”
Maradona who led Argentina to their 1986 triumph in Mexico wants permission to speak to the squad in a bid to lift their morale ahead of the decisive group game against Nigeria next Tuesday.
“I played with my life whenever I got the Argentine shirt,” Maradona said.
“Legends like Simeone, Redondo, Ruggeri, Canniggia, Filol, Luque and Gallego did exactly the same.
“I want to be able to talk to the players and make them understand what it means to wear the national shirt.”