Argentinean legend Diego Maradona says Lionel Messi is more like a teddy bear than a football player. His remark is related to the recent rescinding of international ban against the Barcelona star striker.

Messi was initially facing a somewhat-harsh four-match suspension which was eventually rescinded to just one game. The Argentinean player allegedly shouted obscenities at a referee during a World Cup qualifier match against Chile.

Maradona said that the rescinding of ban for Messi sent out a wrong message through the football fraternity and those who have committed similar offences.

“It makes absolutely no sense, but Leo deserved [to be sanctioned] for one more match and I say that with my heart in my hand. They reduced the ban for the same reason they always do with star players and veteran players,” he said.

“Messi is not the type of player to insult anyone. I managed him for one year and he is more like a teddy bear than a football player,” he added.

Argentina sits fifth in the CONMEBOL qualification table at present.