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Former World Cup winner has defended Lionel Messi from criticism, slamming both the Brazilian international and the legendary Santos forward - a long-time rival of the Argentine

Diego Maradona has said Santos striker and Real Madrid target Neymar is "bad-mannered, just like Pele" after his recent comments regarding Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Neymar claimed he could become better than Messi by playing at Santos (Pele's former club), suggesting there is no need to leave Brazil to be the best, despite being linked with Barca's bitter rivals Madrid.

And Maradona, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of his 'Hand of God' goal against England in the 1986 World Cup, has hit back in his unique style.

The former Argentina national team coach slammed Neymar's remarks, and took the opportunity to hit out at Brazilian legend Pele.

"Neymar is bad-mannered, just like Pele," the Al Wasl coach told TVE.

"Messi is an exceptional player and I doubt anyone can separate him [from being the best]."

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