World Cup winner Diego Maradona has offered Barcelona mega start and Argentine skipper Lionel Messi some precious advice ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia this summer.
The 5-time Ballon d’Or winner will spearhead Argentina’s hopes in Russia and the pressure on the 30-year-old to win the World Cup will be surreal.
Argentina has not won the World Cup since 1986 after Maradona single-handedly led the team to victory in Mexico and he has advised Messi to simply enjoy the campaign.
“I would advise Messi to keep playing, to enjoy the game,” he told a leading sports agency.
“He has to forget about the critics if he can win the World Cup or not. He doesn’t have to demonstrate anything. He has to enjoy the game on the field.
“I don’t know Sampaoli, I don’t know how he plays. But, I know a lot of the players and I know they will give everything,” said the former Argentina skipper.
“And I think they have a good opportunity to win. But I don’t choose [Argentina] as a favourite because the favourite one never wins,” Maradona added.
Messi is currently back in Barcelona ahead of a friendly match, to be played against Israel in Jerusalem.
Argentina will then begin their FIFA World Cup journey against Iceland on June 16 before facing Croatia and Nigeria.