XtraTime Web Desk: Football’s probably the finest hero of all time, Diego Maradona ruled out a return to the Argentina Head Coach’s job before urging Lionel Messi to also stay away from international football.
Messi has not made himself available for selection since the World Cup and Maradona, who was Argentina boss from 2008 to 2010, has told him to remain absent.
Maradona warned the Barcelona star that he will always be Argentina’s scapegoat.
Diego Maradona has reiterated his call for Lionel Messi to turn his back on the Argentina national team after being let down by team-mates such as Javier Mascherano and “traitors” within the FA.
“We will mourn him because there is no other player like him, but just as Messi falls, so does the AFA.”
Maradona added, with former Barcelona star Mascherano singled out as a senior figure who should have done more to defend those around him in Russia: “It is very easy to say that Messi is to blame, but they are going to kill the kid.”
“That’s why I am telling him not to come back and take all of the blame.”
“And this kills me because if there are comrades who really love Messi, they should have come out and defended him, not press silence.
“I was wrong about Mascherano, I thought he was a leader. Today, I have to say that Mascherano is not what I believed, but that mistake is totally mine, not his.”
The Barcelona superstar is currently weighing up his international options on the back of a disappointing 2018 World Cup campaign.
He has ruled himself out of contention for current selections, with interim coach Lionel Scaloni being forced to call upon others as the No. 10 jersey is rested alongside a talismanic figure.