Diego Maradona’s son criticises Messi after Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia
Diego Maradona Jr has brutally hit out at those who compare his legendary father to Lionel Messi after Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Messi, 35, fired the 2021 Copa America champions into the lead from the spot-kick in their opening Group C clash at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
Saudi Arabia fought back in the second half and Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari both scored to pull off one of the biggest shock wins in World Cup history.
The Green Falcons’ sensational win has blown Group C wide open, with Saudi Arabia two points clear at the top after Poland and Mexico played out a 0-0 draw.
Argentina face an uphill battle after Saudi Arabia’s upset win, with Messi competing in what is believed to be his final World Cup.
Diego Maradona, who is considered one of the best players of all time, led Argentina to the World Cup trophy in Mexico in 1986.
The son of the legendary Argentine revealed he was “devastated” by Argentina’s defeat and said it was “crazy” that Lionel Scaloni’s men lost to Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to Radio Marte in Italy (via Diario AS), he said: “I am devastated by the defeat of Argentina.
“I find it hard to believe that all this really happened. Losing to Saudi Arabia is crazy.”
Maradona added: “The comparison between Messi and my dad is made by those who don’t see and don’t understand football.
According to Maradona Jr, Argentina were “presumptuous” and they failed to close out their World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia.
“Sometimes in football, you lose even against much weaker opponents,” he said.
“I don’t think Argentina was presumptuous today. Rather, he was afraid.
Speaking after Argentina’s defeat, Messi insisted there were “no excuses” for his side’s performance and that they would be “more united than ever” after their defeat.
“We knew that [Saudi] Arabia is a team with good players, that moves the ball well and that advances the line a lot. We work on it, but we speed up a bit,” the Argentina captain explained.
“There are no excuses. We are going to be more united than ever. This group is strong and they have shown it. It’s a very hard blow for everyone, we didn’t expect to start like this. Things happen for a reason.
“We have to prepare for what’s coming, we have to win or win and it depends on us. We have to go back to the base of who we are. We have to think about what’s to come.”
“It’s a very hard blow for everyone, we didn’t expect to start like this. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what’s coming, we have to win or win and it depends on us. We have to go back to the base of who we are. We have to think about what’s to come.”
Argentina will return to World Cup action on Saturday against Mexico at the Lusail Stadium.