In case you had forgotten, Maradona loves talking smack about Messi. He’s accused him of “lacking the personality to be a leader” and then, much like a high schooler, insisted he wasn’t insulting Messi when he, well, insulted him. He’s also recently accused Messi of “faking” his retirement from the national team.
“Maybe his retirement was staged to make us forget that we lost three finals in a row,” Maradona said to Argentina’s TyC Sports, referring to Copa America losses for the past two years and Argentina’s loss to Germany in the World Cup Final in 2014. “The guy first said he was going to give up, and then took a step back and managed to change his mind in just a matter of weeks.” The new coach, Edgardo Bauza, has the job of turning around the team’s losses of the past years, and met with Messi prior to his decision to come out of his brief retirement.
After Messi won Argentina a victory and was widely praised as a hero yet again in the World Cup qualifier against Uruguay last night, he went on to an interview with La Red Radio station where he very classily had a comeback for Maradona without ever mentioning the football legend’s name. On being asked about his decision to leave Argentina’s National Team only to return two months later, he said:
“When I said what I said, I’d made that decision. I’m grateful for all the love. The only thing I can say is that I didn’t fool anyone, that at the time I felt that, but with everything [regarding his love for the national team] … with the guys truth is I couldn’t not come back because I trust this group a lot. Despite losing the finals, we’ve been doing things very well, there are a lot of things we can achieve and truth is I feel very happy to be a part of this group and be here again.”
While Messi didn’t utter Maradona’s name, I’m gonna go ahead and venture he was throwing some shade via his “When I said what I said, I’d made that decision comment”, perhaps referring to Maradona’s “I do what I do” comment to reporters following his detainment at Ezeiza Airport. Or maybe it’s just Messi being Messi. In other words, amazing. Let’s just not comment about the hair, OK?