ARGENTINA | AYALA

"Maradona was pure art, Messi is Speedy González..."

Former Valencia star Roberto Ayala is now assistant manager for the Argentine national team and had the pleasure of playing with the country's two greatest.

"Maradona was pure art, Messi is Speedy González..."

Roberto Ayala known as ‘El Ratón’ (the mouse) was lucky enough to get up close and personal with both Maradona and Lionel Messi on the pitch. Now assistant to Lionel Scaloni in the Argentina national team, he spoke on '90 minutes' with Fox Sports where he revealed some interesting elements about the relationships.

Maradona and Messi

“I played with both of them, with Diego I was taking my first steps. They are two footballing giants, and when he retires, Messi will be remembered.

“I don't know if it’ll be like Diego, it doesn't matter. They are different. Diego was pure art in all his mannerisms, Messi a Speedy González who carries the ball two centimetres from his foot.”

Argentina's number 10

And on the Barça stars influence on the national team Ayala was hopeful.

”I hope that he gives us his footballing level, that he makes us grow as a team. Having a team with him, not of him.

“He wants to be treated like this, like just one more. We told the players that he will not be treated differently by us. You all have to step up, do what you do for your clubs, and he will help you. You have to take advantage of that.”