Diego Maradona has been talking about Lionel Messi again and has explained how he helped the Barcelona star improve his free-kick technique.
The World Cup winner worked with Messi with the national team during 2010 World Cup campaign and says he offered the forward some simple advice when it came to free-kicks.
Messi has become a real master of the set-piece in recent years. He bagged eight goals directly from free-kicks last season, the most he has managed in his Barca career.
“I coached the best, Messi, and nobody can tell me otherwise, because he was able to skip past up to five players – a phenomenon,” he 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’.
“And he replied, ‘but I hit it in the middle and the ball goes this way or that way’ and I told him, ‘don’t worry, you’re going to make it’. Now he just can’t miss.”
Source | Goal
It’s pretty debatable how much influence Maradona had on Messi’s free-kicks, but it’s clear the Argentina international has vastly improved in this regards over the years.
He scored four from 47 attempts in 2012-13 but that rate rose to eight goals 56 efforts last season, so say BBC Sport.
How many will he score this season?