Speaking in Dubai, Maradona acknowledged that Neymar—the young Brazilian striker playing for his native club Santos—was good, but insisted he would never be able to match Messi, the Argentina playmaker who netted his 16th league goal of the season for Barcelona this week.
Maradona, who coaches Al Wasl, has been at loggerheads 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, when told of Pele’s comments. “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, he never considered staying behind in Argentina after the funeral.
“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.”