Argentina football icon Diego Maradona has stated that Lionel Messi’s performances for his club Barcelona are far better than his showing for Argentina. But Maradona also claimed that it is not fair to blame Messi for the failures of the national team.
Argentina were one of the favourites to win Copa America this summer, with Messi arguably in the form of his life, helping his club to a treble last season. But the Argentina forward did not live up to the expectations, as he managed to score just one goal in the tournament. Argentina finished as runners-up in the Copa America, after failing at the big stage for the second time in a year.
Messi has always been criticized for not performing up to his standards when he plays for Argentina. And watching the 28-year-old’s performances in the Copa, Maradona said that Messi is a better player in Barcelona than he is with the Albiceleste.
“We have the best player in the world and he scores four goals against Real Sociedad but comes here and doesn’t touch the ball,” Maradona told Ole.
“You ask yourself: ‘Are you Argentine or Swedish?’ Criticising him is easy. Don’t say any more that we have to pamper him. He should be treated just like any other player in the national team. Messi hasn’t killed or raped anyone – let’s not make a big deal over this.”
While commenting on the Copa final loss that Argentina suffered at the hands of Chile, the Argentine legend was quick to say that Messi was not the one to blame for the team’s failure.
“Chile were better,” he continued. “They had a better attitude while some of the Argentinians strolled through things, and do not talk about Messi. He will continue to be a phenomenon as always. We have a team that attacks but we have no ‘Plan B’.”