No Extra Pressure Under Maradona - Messi

Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has brushed off suggestions that Los Albicelestes will be under even more intense pressure to succeed if Maradona were to be installed as the new coach.

The Argentine Football Association organized a meeting yesterday (Monday) to finalize the potential candidates that would take over the hotseat vacated by Alfio Basile two weeks ago.

Carlos Bianchi, Miguel Russo (current coach of San Lorenzo), Sergio Batista and Diego Maradona are the four favourites to land the top job with many a football fan picking the latter as their number one choice.

The media, on the other hand, have predicted that extra burden and pressure will be placed on the national team should the legendary former player take over. But Barça sensation, Lionel Messi does not think so.

“I don’t think there would be more pressure on us if Maradona were to be chosen as the new trainer,” he was quoted as saying by Marca.

“We just have to continue working hard to return to the summit, where Argentina belongs,” the 21 year old added.

Messi was then asked if the national side could undergo a revolutionary transformation just like the one seen at Barcelona this season.

“It would be difficult to see that kind of change at Argentina because it’s not only about changing coaches.

“All the new players who arrived at Barça have changed our spirit, mentality and enthusiasm. And we spend a lot of time together.

“But with the national team, we only have ten days at a time to prepare and then you have to play with people who know very little about,” he concluded.  

KS Leong