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8 Big Names Who Criticised Messi

With FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi often being praised more than he is criticised, here are eight high-profile names who have gone public with their criticism of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, including Pele, who made a shock claim about the Argentine last year.

Click through the gallery above to see eight football personalities who have publicly slammed Messi.

Since his breakthrough with the Catalan giants in 2004, the forward has generally been a player who receives more plaudits than he does criticism, but from time to time, he has been taken to task by current and former footballers.

Last year, Diego Maradona pulled no punches when he insisted that, while Messi is a great player, he is far from a leader. The 1986 FIFA World Cup winner brazenly told Fox Sports: "He's Messi when he plays for Barcelona. Messi is Messi when he wears that shirt and he's another Messi with Argentina. He's a great player but he's not a leader. It's useless trying to make a leader out of a man who goes to the toilet 20 times before a game."

Maradona later backtracked on his remarks about his compatriot, whom he managed in the Argentina national team between 2008 and 2010.

Another legend of the game, Pele, has also attempted to pick holes in his game. In 2018, when he was asked how he believes Messi compares to him, the Brazilian icon responded by questioning whether or not the Barca talisman has earned the right to be in the "greatest of all time" discussion. Pele famously accused Messi of having just "one skill", comments that were met with backlash.

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Earlier this year, after Messi claimed that the 2019 Copa America was set up for Brazil to win, the 32-year-old was given a public dressing-down, this time from his former Blaugrana colleague Dani Alves.

The Selecao captain was unimpressed by what Messi had suggested, telling SporTV that "a friend is not always right just because he's a friend. You can say it in the heat of the moment, but I still won't agree. Firstly, he's disrespecting an institution such as the Selecao, in my view. Secondly, he's being disrespectful with several professionals who put a lot of things aside so they could be there fighting for a dream."

Alves went on to insist that he will always speak with honesty, saying "I'm a friend who always tells the truth when it's due, and I think he was wrong for saying these things".

Chile goalkeeper Johnny Herrera shared similar sentiments to the Sao Paulo right-back, while a former international player seemed to take more issue with Messi's on-field performances at the tournament.

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This just goes to show that even the top players will upset people – to see eight current and former players who have criticised Messi, click through the gallery above!

Do you think that Messi, like other footballers, sometimes deserves to be criticised? Let us know in the comments section below.


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