Football News

Fabio Capello explains the “important problem” that costs Lionel Messi Argentina success

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:22, 22 June 2019

Fabio Capello believes Diego Maradona had better teammates at international level than Lionel Messi whom he describes as “extraordinary”.

The 31-year-old Barcelona playmaker is currently playing at his fifth Copa America whilst searching for a first title with Argentina

Maradona famously guided La Albiceleste to a second World Cup crown in 1986 having scored five goals and creating the winning goal against West Germany.

Following this success, the South America powerhouse clinched two more continental titles in 1991 and 1993, without Maradona, before reaching three finals with Messi but they were losing efforts.

Messi also captained Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, a game they narrowly lost 1-0 to Germany, and though he was far from blameless, Capello nonetheless feels the experiences both these great number 10’s have found with the national team can’t be compared.

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“People talk about both, but Maradona’s Argentina were stronger and had more quality than Messi’s,” he told Radio Marca.

“He’s had good players in front of him, but in midfield and behind he has missed a defence. That’s the important problem.

“Messi is extraordinary, he lives thinking about playing and not about business, like for example Neymar does.”

Messi’s international career. Five things to know…

  • Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer (68 goals).
  • Only Pele (77) has scored more goals for a South American nation.
  • His only sending off came a minute after debuting against Hungary in August 2005.
  • He’s currently playing in his fifth Copa America having reached three of the previous four finals.
  • Argentina are in danger of elimination after picking up one point after their opening two games.