world cup qualifying

Maradona pleased with 'positive' Messi meeting

November 7, 2008

New Argentina coach Diego Maradona admitted he had a "very positive" meeting with Lionel Messi but was unable to speak to Barcelona president Joan Laporta about releasing the forward for the upcoming friendly against Scotland.

A pre-existing agreement between the Argentina Football Association (AFA) and Barcelona means Messi is unable to play in friendlies for his country apart from very special occasions.

Even though Maradona said he will respect the verbal agreement when he was officially unveiled as the new coach of the national team on Tuesday, he is still keen to recruit Messi for his first game in charge against Scotland on November 19.

"We are very happy with the meeting with Leo because it was very positive," said Maradona. "It's great that he wants to play all the matches in the national team. We are satisfied by that."

This meeting was only the first step of a European tour where Maradona will meet most of the players he has called up to play Scotland at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

However, the 48-year-old was unable to meet Laporta where it is believed he was keen to ask about releasing Messi to play at least this friendly - his first match at the helm - but the president of the Catalan side postponed the meeting because of a flight to Brussels.

Maradona later travels to England to speak to Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez and Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano, who he is keen to convince to accept an offer of being captain of the national team.