Fabio Capello has slammed the unfair comparisons made between Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi during their respective times with Argentina.
But the ex-Juventus and England manager made a bold claim that the Argentine legend, 58, had better teammates than the Barcelona superstar.
"People talk about both, but Maradona's Argentina were stronger and had more quality than Messi's," he told Radio Marca.
"He's had good players in front of him, but in midfield and behind he has missed a defence. That's the important problem.
"Messi is extraordinary, he lives thinking about playing and not about business, like for example Neymar does."
Capello, 73, will raise a fair few eyebrows about his comments on Maradona and Messi, considering the superstar talent that Argentina currently boasts in Paulo Dybala, Sergio Agüero and Ángel Di María.
Argentina were dumped out of the World Cup last summer and Messi went on hiatus from international duty as he decided on his future.
And the 31-year-old Argentine ace made his return ahead of the Copa América, but Argentina's poor start in the competition has placed him under the microscope again.
Lionel Scaloni's men lost 2-0 against Colombia last week in their opening fixture, but many fans were quick to defend Messi after footage showed him essentially playing as a 'one-man team.'
But Capello isn't the only figure to come forward and defend Messi from criticism.
Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone also said that Argentina's problems should not be placed on Messi's shoulders alone.
"Messi can find a solution in a game at any time but he needs a team," the Argentine native told Fox Sports.
"The players who are with Messi have to understand the potential they have, which is huge and it's in the personality of each player.
"[Messi] needs each one of those who make up the team to feel secure and confident when they are around him.
"I have no doubt about Messi's class and stature, and he is going to adapt to any situation because he wants to win."
Messi, who believes Argentina won't win the Copa América, will resume his captain duties for La Albiceleste when they take on Paraguay on Thursday.
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