Diego Maradona has likened Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to “the devil” for his treatment of striker Radamel Falcao.
Colombia international Falcao has failed to make much of an impact following his loan move from Monaco in the summer, and has been a substitute in each of United’s past five games.
Injuries and a chronic lack of goals – just four in 20 Premier League appearances – have seen him move to the margins of the Dutchman’s squad despite his formidable pedigree as a centre-forward.
Maradona was asked about Falcao’s plight during a press conference in Colombian capital Bogota and savaged Van Gaal for the way he has used the 29-year-old.
"Van Gaal is not a nice guy,” said Maradona.
“Van Gaal is closer to the devil than anything.”
Falcao suffered a serious knee injury last season with Monaco which ruled him out of the World Cup finals – a situation which Maradona feels explains his travails this season.
"Falcao's time was cut short after the injury and he has had to adapt to the move."
OUR VIEW (Eurosport - Tom Adams)
A bizarre assault from Maradona, who in the same breath as slamming Van Gaal reveals the precise reason why he hasn't used Falcao. The striker appears not to have fully recovered from that savage knee injury over 12 months ago and is simply not the player he once was. Van Gaal's team is functioning better than ever with Wayne Rooney as a central striker so Maradona's criticism is well wide of the mark. Perhaps he said it to butter up his audience in Bogota.
- Source: Eurosport