Veron backs Messi leadership following Maradona criticism

By Isoccer Staff

Lionel Messi does not need a big personality to be Argentina’s leading force, says former international team-mate Juan Sebastian Veron.

Argentina skipper Messi has often been criticised over his inability to inspire the kind of success that he enjoys with Barcelona at international level.

Messi led his country to the World Cup final in 2014, as well as last year’s Copa America final, though both ended in defeat.

The Barca superstar was limited to two substitute appearances in the Copa America Centenario group stage, although he still managed a 19-minute hat- trick against Panama.

And Veron – Messi’s room-mate at the 2010 World Cup – is confident that the captain’s unassuming method is best for him and the team.

“Leo is a guy that does not radiate an overwhelming personality, as Maradona did in his time,” Veron told Fox Sports.

“He is quiet, but he has a strong hold over the group with his personality, without raising his voice.

“It is not necessary to have a strong personality. He does it his way.”

A quarter-final with Venezuela is next up for Gerardo Martino’s side, with tournament hosts United States lying in wait in the semi-finals.

Veron added: “I like the team. I think it is a serious team, which creates confidence, but this does not mean today we will be champions.

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