Maradona takes poke at Pele

Updated: December 1, 2011, 9:11 PM ET
Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Diego Maradona has taken another swipe at Pele, saying the retired Brazilian star must have taken the "wrong medication" when he suggested Neymar was better than Lionel Messi.

Speaking in Dubai on Thursday, Maradona acknowledged that the young Brazilian forward was good but insisted he never will be able to match Messi, the Argentinian who is a favorite to win his third straight FIFA Player of the Year award.

Maradona has been at conflict with Pele for years. The two sparred last year when Pele criticized Maradona's coaching of Argentina during the 2010 World Cup.

Pele has said that Neymar was "technically" better than Messi, but that the Brazilian has a lot to prove if he wants to be considered the best player in the world one day. That didn't sit well with Maradona, who is currently the coach of the United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl.

"It seems Pele took the wrong medication," Maradona said. "Instead of taking his night pill, he took the morning pill. He got confused and didn't know what he was talking about. ... I suggest next time he take the right pills before making any suggestions and that he should change his doctor."

Maradona arrived back in Dubai on Friday after burying his mother Dalma Salvadora Franco de Maradona in Argentina. He said that while he was going through "a very sad moment" in his life.

"It was a very emotional time," Maradona said. "But as soon as I buried my mother, the first thought that came to my mind was coming back to team. I owe it to them. They showed me a lot of support. They are showing excellent form."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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