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The Al Wasl coach admitted that the Barcelona star was a quiet kid but backed him to win respect through his outstanding talent on the pitch

Former Argentina boss Diego Maradona has backed Lionel Messi to continue the impressive start he has made since taking over the national team captaincy.

Alejandro Sabella raised a few eyebrows in the South American nation when he gave the Barcelona forward the captain's armband, with some observers worried that Messi did not have the right attitude to lead the Albiceleste.

The 24-year-old though has made a great start since replacing Javier Mascherano, with the team recording three qualifying victories out of five and just one defeat against Venezuela.

Writing for Ole as the Seleccion prepare to take on Brazil in the United States, Al Wasl coach Maradona repeated his admiration for the player he trained in the 2010 World Cup and said he had more than earned the right to lead the team.
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"I have not watched Argentina for a long time, but I think that Leo needs support. He is a very quiet kid, he earned the captaincy by virtue of his play and all his goals and maybe with time he will learn to lead, to shout or head meetings like captains do - but this will come with time," the Albiceleste legend explained.

"It is difficult to change Leo's character, he is a fantastic kid who cannot express everything he has inside. That is why he needs great players so he can give them the time needed to strengthen the team."

Maradona captained Argentina to two World Cup finals, winning the country's second title in Mexico during the 1986 edition.

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