Diego Maradona said Argentina captain Lionel Messi must not follow through on his vow to quit international football as he took aim at the country’s governing body.

Argentine legend Maradona – regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all-time – said Messi, whom he coached during his time as national team boss between 2008 and 2010, must play at the 2018 World Cup.

“Messi has to stay in the national team. He will go to Russia in form to be world champion,” Maradona said via La Nacion.

“He has to rely more on boys who can help take the team forward and less on those who say they have to go.

“Those who are saying he should quit are doing it so that we won’t see what a disaster Argentine football has become.”