Enrique, 56, who assisted Maradona for the iconic 'hand of God' against England was asked to weigh in on the debate over who should be considered the greatest Argentinean footballer of all time.
"Messi, unfortunately, has had a hard time in the national team," he told Ataque Futbolero'
"I hope that in the next World Cup he will have the luck we had, but Messi will never reach Maradona's level.
"What I want is for Messi to play. If he is not having a good time [in the team], it's better not to come."
Messi is set to take part in the 2019 Copa America after taking leave of absence from the national team following the Russia 2018 showpiece.