"The captaincy of the national side is a distinction which Messi deserves as he has all the qualities a captain requires - a combative character and immeasurable talent," Argentina-born naturalised Spaniard Di Stefano told the journal of the Argentina Football Federation.
"He would grow more and I am sure that it (would be) a decision which would bolster the togetherness of the group. His team-mates respect him," Di Stefano, nicknamed the Blond Arrow, added.
He said he was a huge fan of Messi - save for when Barcelona meet his own former side Real Madrid. "It is extraordinary to see him play and his goals are a delight - except when he puts one past my team Real Madrid."
Messi has on occasion been criticised by Argentina fans for showing only occasional flashes of his Barcelona form in the national shirt - in particular when the Albiceleste flopped at the Copa America in July on home soil.