Maradona hoping Messi can inspire Argentina to World Cup glory

The icon wants the Barcelona star to take 'revenge' on those who criticized him for failing to score in South Africa by leading the Albiceleste to the title next summer.
Diego Maradona is hoping that Lionel Messi can make amends for his disappointing goal haul at the 2010 World Cup by firing Argentina to glory in Brazil.

The Barcelona ace failed to find the net in each of his country's five fixtures in the last edition of the competition, in South Africa, adding further weight behind the theory that the 26-year-old star fails to replicate the form shown at club level for Albiceleste.

Maradona, who was Argentina's coach for its knockout stage elimination to Germany in 2010, is keen for Messi to exact "revenge" on his detractors by inspiring Argentina to the title in June.

"I am not disappointed by Messi in 2010," Maradona told reporters. "If he had of scored the chances he missed we would be world champions. He was unlucky. But I hope that he can take his revenge in Brazil."

Weeks after Argentina's World Cup exit in South Africa, Maradona was dismissed as head-coach, prompting him to assert that a refusal to deviate from his principles contributed to his sacking.

"[FIFA president Sepp] Blatter and [Argentina Football Association president Julio] Grondona wanted to see me on my knees," Maradona said. "The reason I am no longer Argentina coach is because I stuck to my principles.

Maradona took another swipe at Grondona, stating the nation's footballing future is in jeopardy because the 82-year-old's son is a coach.

"Argentina's future is very bad, because Grondona's son is a trainer," Maradona said. "I swear to Benjamin he has never kicked a ball in his life."