The Argentina legend claims he spotted the leadership qualities of the Barcelona star during his time as coach of the national side
The Barcelona forward was handed the armband for the Albiceleste in 2011 by coach Alejandro Sabella, and the team has flourished under the 25-year-old's leadership, having lost just one 90-minute match during the past 12 months.
Maradona, a former skipper of the national side himself, claims he foresaw the leadership qualities Messi possessed during his time as coach of the team in 2010.
Speaking in an interview with DeporTV, he said: "I saw him in that position, as a leader, not just because a charlatan cannot be captain. I was right.
"What will they say now, those who questioned him because he hadn't scored for the national team? Those are things that people who have never been on a football pitch say. Leo is a great guy, with a family he cares for. He has an incredible present and future."