Argentina Maradona was caught on microphone talking about the Barcelona star forward with Brazil legend Pele at an event in Paris today (June 9).
"He's a really good person, but he has no personality," Maradona was quoted as saying by goal.com. (Pele, Maradona face off in friendly)
"He lacks (the) character to be a leader."
Pele then responded: "Ah, I get it, he's not like we were back in the days. In the 70s we (Brazil) had really good players like Rivellino, Gerson, Tostao."
"Not like Argentina now, which depends only on Messi. He (Maradona) is saying that Messi is a good player, there's no doubt about it, but he has no personality."
In his illustrious career, Messi has not been able to replicate his club form when he turned up for his country.
The 28-year-old has twice lost in the Copa America final and once if the World Cup final. A gold medal at 2008 Olympics remains his most significant international honour.
He missed Argentina's opening game of the Copa America, a 2-1 win over title holders Chile, due to a back injury.