Maradona blasts Batista for ignoring Tevez

Diego Maradona has said on Argentine TV that his successor as

national coach must be ”drunk” for suggesting Manchester City

forward Carlos Tevez is not needed for the Copa America.

Sergio Batista said Tevez was not required because he had

players like Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Gonzalo

Higuain who played in the same position.

”You would have to be drunk or stoned not to call up Tevez,”

Maradona told the TyC sports channel on Wednesday. ”Don’t tell me

you want to test someone else … what kind of test are you talking


Maradona, who agreed this week to coach United Arab Emirates

club Al Wasl, said Messi was a different type of player who was not

suited to the traditional No. 9 center forward’s role.

”Everyone has their own style of play, but I wouldn’t play

Messi as a No. 9,” he said.

Tevez said he was also puzzled about the reasons behind his

probable exclusion.

”I’m dying to play for the national team,” he told radio

station La Red. ”There’s some extra problem that I don’t know

about … if it’s about football, they should have called me and

they should have said, ‘look Carlitos, it’s a football


There have been claims Tevez is being left out because he has a

bad relationship with Messi.

”It’s like they want people to be against me,” Tevez said. ”I

have a good relationship with the little man (Messi). Messi is the

best in the world, it should be him and 10 others.”

The striker also thanked Maradona for his support.

”I love Diego and he loves me,” he said.

Maradona, who took the national team to the World Cup

quarterfinals last year only to lose 4-0 to Germany, also had harsh

words for Batista’s reign.

”What’s going on today is a mess and it’s not being

criticized,” he said. ”We’ve gone 1,000 steps backward and it

makes me ashamed because we had earned a respect with the national

side but now it is being thrown out the window.”

Argentina hosts the Copa America in July.