Lionel Messi’s unprecedented career as a professional has resulted in countless positive triumphs, however, how he is perceived on the international stage is much different than when it comes to the club game.
Argentina’s most recent falling out at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which saw the Albiceleste fall to eventual-winners France in the Round of 16, has raised more questions about Messi’s ability to deliver on the international stage.
Additionally, one can wonder whether he’ll ever play for the national team again.
Reports out of Argentina stated on Tuesday that Messi won’t take part in upcoming international fixtures against Guatemala and Colombia in the United States.
Former Argentina international and current Boca Juniors forward Carlos Tevez believes that some of the criticism from media and supporters has finally gotten to Messi, and that it’s “understandable” if the legendary attacker doesn’t return to the international game.
“It would be understandable if Messi doesn’t return to the national team,” Tevez told TyC Sports. “When you give and then you are criticised, it becomes very difficult. I’ve been through that and at times you don’t want to go [to the national team].”
With Messi and Co. falling out of the World Cup in the first knockout round this summer, the Barcelona goalscorer was targeted viciously for potentially selecting players to start in matches after a visible rift between manager Jorge Sampaoli and the squad occurred early in the competition.
Former Barcelona forward Hristo Stoichkov, who happens to be a close friend of Messi, says that simply is not the case though.
“That’s a lie that someone invented a while back,” Stoichkov told TyC Sports. “If that were the case, I would be the coach of Argentina because I’m Lionel’s friend. It’s a complete lie.
“A lot of people don’t know Messi. I know him very well and I can say that he never got involved in the construction of the national team. It’s all lies.”Follow @MattReedFutbol