I taught Messi free-kick lessons

File: Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona. File image

Diego Maradona has claimed credit for fellow countryman Lionel Messi’s incredible free-kick record while the pair were on the training ground together with Argentina.

Maradona coached the Barcelona star while he was manager of the national side between 2008 and 2010, and the World Cup winner has said that Messi sought his counsel over his free-kick technique.

That advice, Maradona says, saw Messi improve greatly on his free-kicks. Last season the Argentinian icon scored eight direct free-kicks, more than any other campaign.

The 58-year-old Maradona said, “He had an issue with free-kicks. When we finished every training session, we kept Leo behind so he could practice, and he started to hit the post.

“I didn’t teach him how to take a free-kick, then he asked me how I was able to score.

“I said, “you just have to hit it in the middle. They aren’t going to give me an Oscar to teach you this”.