Argentina legend Diego Maradona has told Lionel Messi to retire from international football for good.
Messi was heavily criticised in his homeland after Argentina’s round of 16 exit – at the hands of eventual winners France – at this summer’s World Cup.
The Barcelona star has since not featured for the Albiceleste, missing the friendlies with Guatemala and Colombia in September.
And now Maradona has advised the 31-year-old to just walk away for good, leaving the mess that the national side has become behind.
“What would I tell Messi? To not come back any more. To retire,” Maradona told Clarin.
“The under-15s lose and it’s Messi’s fault. The fixture in Argentina puts Racing against Boca and Messi is to blame. It’s always his fault. Stop breaking my balls.
“I would tell him: “Don’t go anymore, man”. Let’s see if they can handle that. Let’s see if they’re really big men.
“I would have liked to see him tell us all to f*** off because he’s not to blame for us not being world champions.”
Messi will miss the upcoming fixtures with Iraq and Brazil also, but new coach Lionel Scaloni continues to keep the No.10 shirt free.