Daniel Passarella says Lionel Messi has time to match the achievements of Diego Maradona, but slammed comparisons between the two Argentina greats.
Passarella, who captained Argentina to victory at the 1978 World Cup, came out in support of Messi for his lack of international success.
While Messi’s honours at club level are staggering – including lifting the Champions League trophy four times – he has fallen short of securing silverware with Argentina, finishing as a runner-up at the 2014 World Cup and in the Copa America twice.
Maradona, in comparison, was victorious at the 1986 World Cup and Passarella, who was speaking in the Mexican city of Pachuca, where he was being inducted into the hall of fame for his achievements as coach of Monterrey, said: “Messi is not Maradona.
“Comparisons are hateful, but sometimes you must. He has time to reach the heights that Maradona hit. Argentines say all he lacks is the World Cup, so comparisons are odious.
“Argentina complains that he has to win the World Cup to beat Diego.”
Passarella, who managed Argentina as well as River Plate, Uruguay and Parma in his coaching career, added that he is considering a return to the touchline.
“I’m in talks to return to football as a coach,” he said. “It comes at a time when I am still active. I had offers from South America, but did not reach an agreement.
“I also received offers from countries like Saudi Arabia. It is not just the fact of working, but to see what projects and what intentions are these people you’re going to work. That is fundamental.”