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Diego Maradona might just have to take some credit for Lionel Messi being utterly ridiculous at free-kicks thanks to a piece of advice he gave to him.
The Argentina legend, now managing Mexican second-tier side Dorados de Sinaloa, often can't decide whether he loves or hates Messi.
Maradona made headlines in the World Cup by holding Messi's shirt aloft but then a few months later he questioned his abilities as a leader and claimed he goes to the toilet 20 times before a game.
However, when he was working with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner during his short and unsuccessful stint in charge of the Argentina national team, he did help change the way Messi operates from dead-ball situations.
Speaking to LaSexta, via Marca, back in March, former Argentina fitness coach Fernando Signorini recalled the exchange between the pair.
"I started walking to where Diego was, and at the same moment I see Messi place the ball down. He takes three shots and misses all three and turned to us with a look of clear frustration.
"He turns towards the dressing room and I shout 'no' before hugging him and telling him that the best player in the world can't leave a training session like that. Diego arrives and they talk to each other, the world seems to stop at that moment.
"He places the ball in the same place and then gives some very paternal words. He told him not to take his foot off the ball so quickly when he takes a free kick."
A simple bit of advice but you'd have to say it's done the trick. Messi is comfortably the best set-piece taker in world football and it's got to the point where giving away a free-kick against Barca is like conceding a penalty because of how consistent he is.
After Messi scored two sensational free-kicks in the 4-0 hammering of Catalan rivals Espanyol, he has now scored a staggering 19 goals from dead-ball situations in the past four seasons - more than any other club in Europe's top five leagues.
The free-kick king...
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