Maradona: Messi played better for me than Sabella

The iconic No.10 has called for the Albiceleste boss to be sacked and replaced by Cesar Luis Menotti for failing to get the best out of the Barcelona attacker

Former Argentina boss Diego Maradona has claimed that Lionel Messi played “five times better” for him than current national team coach Alejandro Sabella.

Sabella guided the Albiceleste to their first World Cup final in 24 years earlier this month, where they lost 1-0 to Germany.

However, Maradona, who coached Argentina between 2008 and 2010, has now criticised Sabella for not getting the most out of his players - and Messi in particular.

Speaking ahead of a friendly match at Rio Tercero, the 53-year-old stated: "With me, Messi played five times better than with Sabella. Don’t tell me that now he sacrifices himself for the team.”

With Sabella’s future remaining uncertain, Maradona suggested that Cesar Luis Menotti should take over, though he doubted whether the Argentina Football Association (AFA) would entrust him with the role.

“I don't like Sabella [for the job],” Maradona said. “There’s someone forgotten: Menotti, who is not working because he fights against the mafia [the AFA].”