Martin Palermo, Lionel Messi's teammate on Argentina's World Cup team, says the Barcelona star doesn't have the leadership qualities that Diego Maradona had when he led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title.
"Messi isn't Maradona,'' Palermo said Monday on America TV. "To me, Messi does not have Maradona's mentality. He's not prepared to carry the team. He [Messi] is not one to take the role of leader. He won't do it because he's not used to this position. He grew up in another way, he's lived differently. He's been with Barcelona since he was 12.''
Maradona grew up in a Buenos Aires slum, while Messi and his family moved to Barcelona at a young age. Many Argentines consider Messi less Argentine because of his years abroad. He has always played better for Barcelona than the Argentine national team. He went scoreless in five games at the World Cup.