Diego Maradona admits Lionel Messi is “the best football player today” and considers his fellow Argentine to be an “enormous” talent but is hoping to see the Barcelona superstar downed by Napoli.
The first leg of an eagerly-anticipated Champions League last-16 encounter is due to be staged at Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday.
That contest is set to see six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi step into the arena iconic countryman Maradona once called home.
Much is being made of the Barcelona captain’s presence in Naples, with the 32-year-old following in some illustrious footsteps.
Comparisons continue to be made between his remarkable career and that of World Cup winner Maradona, with there little to separate two all-time greats.
Two men at the centre of a fierce debate have attempted to steer clear of being drawn into one regarding who can be considered the best.
Both have the utmost respect for one another, with Maradona considering Messi to be “a very good boy”.
He also told Il Mattino of the mercurial Barca star that he once managed while working as head coach of the Argentina national side: “He must continue his career and his life knowing that he is the best football player today.
“I enjoyed watching Leo with Argentina in every game.”