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Messi closes in on Maradona

19 December 2011 13:13

Juan Roman Riquelme said Lionel Messi is slowly replacing Diego Maradona as Argentine football's main character.

The 33-year-old Boca Juniors midfielder said Maradona is rated the best player ever by Argentines of older generations, but Messi has taken his place with the younger football fans.

"I was lucky enough to grow up during the era of Diego Maradona, who all Argentinians consider the greatest player ever," Riquelme told the FIFA website.

"After watching him play I used to run out onto the street with my mates, get the ball and pretend that I was him. I'd be commentating on myself and saying 'Maradona has the ball', stuff like that."

"Now that's what my son's like with Lionel Messi. He starts kicking the ball and saying 'Messi's on the ball'."

"For people my age, Maradona is the main man. But for younger generations, like my boy, Messi's their hero."

Riquelme has won more than 50 caps for Argentina and lifted the Apertura title with Boca Juniors earlier this month.

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Primera División table

# Team MP D P
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