Tata: Leo must play where he is happy

Argentina boss Tata Martino has responded to Lionel Messi’s comments that it is possible he could play at a team other than Barcelona.

Former Barca boss Martino saw Messi play the opening 45 minutes of a 1-0 international friendly defeat to Portugal at Old Trafford and was asked his opinion on whether he saw him ever moving away from the Camp Nou.

“When you see the connection he has with Barca I think it would be very difficult for him to leave the club,” he told reporters.

“However, when you see the options out there in the world, the big teams where he would fit in perfectly, then I think it’s possible.

“But I definitely think he should be happy where he plays his football.”

Martino insisted he had not spoken to Messi about the possibility of him leaving the Catalan giants, the only club he has played for as a professional.

“I’ve never spoken to him about the issue and everyone does what is best for themselves. Somebody from Madrid will think one way and someone from Barca another…I had to live through this last year.

“Messi can play on the right, at No 9, behind a forward…he can play anywhere because he does well on all sides.”

With regard to Messi being substituted at half-time, Martino said it was something that had been discussed beforehand.

“Leo played the entire game against Croatia so we thought about it and spoke with him about only playing for 45 minutes,” he explained.

Tags Argentina Messi Tata Martino