Diego Maradona says Barcelona’s Lionel Messi ‘lacks the personality of a leader’ and names Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo as Euro 2016’s star.
The Argentinean icon was speaking at an event in Paris to launch the summer tournament but with his country currently competing in the Copa America, the subject of Messi, the national team captain, was raised when Pele, also present, asked Maradona about the Blaugrana forward.
“Yes, I know him. He’s a good person, but he doesn’t have personality. He doesn’t have the personality of a leader,” ex-Barca, Napoli and Sevilla forward Maradona complained, AS reports.
Maradona moved on to Euro 2016 when he was asked about favourites for the trophy, players to watch and pressure on Ronaldo.
“There are several players I want to see in the tournament. [Eden] Hazard, [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Wayne] Rooney, [Andres] Iniesta…they’re the ones who make you want to sit in front of the TV to watch the games,” Maradona continued.
“Favourites? In football there are no small opponents. Anyone can surprise you in a game. I see a lot of teams that can do well, but the ball will decide. For example, England have improved somewhat.
“Cristiano will be the star, no doubt. He’s one of those players who practically on his own can put a team in the final. He’s the heritage of football. Anyone who likes football, likes Cristiano.
“Pressure? I don’t think a player of his experience is under pressure in a tournament. The ones who should feel pressure are the defences that have to mark him in the game.”