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Former Argentina coach Alfio Basile doesn't believe that Lionel Messi has the right character to become a leader for his nation on the pitch...

Former Argentina and Boca Juniors coach Alfio Basile has delivered some strong words for Albiceleste talisman Lionel Messi, stating that, although the Barca star is a magical talent, he doubts that 'La Pulga' will ever be able to lead his side in the way that Diego Maradona could on the field.

"[Messi] is a phenomenon. He does impossible things with the ball, but because of his character he cannot be a team leader for Argentina, except if his personality changes over time," 'Coco' told Estudio Futbol on Thursday evening.

Basile had the opportunity to coach Messi during his spell as Argentina coach between 2006 and 2008, before resigning following the historic first defeat to Chile. The 67-year-old admitted that he was surprised at the Seleccion's early exit from South Africa earlier this year.

"I sincerely believed that Argentina were going to be champions in South Africa, because I knew they had top-class players in the squad. But incredibly everything for Messi bounced off the posts," Basile stated.

"Now I really hope that everything goes well for [Sergio Batista], he plays in the same way as I like to."

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