Football legend Diego Maradona has reportedly wished that Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo belonged to Argentina.
Although he prefers Lionel Messi to lead Argentina, Maradona wishes Real Madrid star Ronaldo was Argentine. Messi and Ronaldo have shared nine Ballon d’Or amongst them in the past nine years.
“Cristiano is an animal,” Maradona was quoted as saying by TyC Sports on Saturday. “I wish he was Argentine.”
Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, is now coach of United Arab Emirates club Al-Fujairah SC.
The former Napoli star playmaker had criticised Messi when the FC Barcelona star decided to hang up his boots after Argentina’s Copa America final loss last year.
Ronaldo, currently playing in the Confederations Cup in Russia, has gone from strength to strength winning his fourth Ballon d’Or recently.
The Real Madrid hitman has won four Champions League titles — equalling Messi’s haul and led Portugal to their first major tournament crown in last summer’s European Championship.
“But I still prefer Messi. He is enjoying playing football and goes by opponents with ease,” he said.
“Leo cannot deliver the World Cup on his own. Even if he does not win a World Cup, we will still remember him,” the 56-year-old Maradona added.