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Costacurta: 'I lasted only 15 minutes against Messi'

Former Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta struggles to choose between Barcelona star Lionel Messi and former Napoli hero Diego Maradona.

The former Italy international has played against both but claims football has changed enough to make it hard for him to separate the two, revealing that Maradona received tougher treatment than the current star.

“We are talking about two great players in the history of football, but in Maradona we could have made 66 fouls before being booked,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s different with Leo, now it’s different.”

The 54-year-old did however recall the first time he faced the current Barcelona and Argentina talisman, when a 16-year-old Messi made him call for a substitution.

“Messi is more ingenious than Maradona, even though they are very similar geniuses,” he added. “I thought he was a child and that I would do what I wanted with him. But after a quarter of an hour, I had to ask [Carlo] Ancelotti for a change.”

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