Football icon Lionel Messi paid homage to former Argentina coach Diego Maradona on his second death anniversary on November 25. Messi’s tribute came at a time when Maradona’s son Diego Sinagra criticised the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner after a shock 1-2 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening game at the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Messi uploaded a picture of Maradona from his playing days with no caption.
Argentina, a pre-tournament favourite for the World Cup, lost to Saudi Arabia despite Messi putting his team ahead by scoring from the spot. He also had a goal ruled out for offside.
Messi - the highest scorer for La Albiceleste with 92 goals - has long been regarded as the successor of Maradona. Although he achieved great success in European club football and ended Argentina’s 28-year wait for the Copa America title in 2021, Messi is yet to get his hands on football’s most coveted trophy - the World Cup.
Following the defeat to Green Falcons in the opener, Maradona’s son Sinagra said, “I am devastated by this defeat.”
“The comparison between Messi and my dad is made by those who do not understand football. We are talking about two different planets, but I do not want to immediately throw the cross at Lionel,” he added.
With Argentina languishing at the bottom of Group C, Messi’s team will face Mexico on Saturday night in a do-or-die match. In its last game against Poland, Mexico played out a draw that saw its goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa save a penalty by Robert Lewandowski.