Argentina Coach Tata Martino has said that if he was criticised the way Lionel Messi has been, he’d have quit international football and focused on Barcelona.
Messi was targeted after Argentina finished as runners-up to hosts Chile in the Copa America and Martino, who also worked with Messi at Barca, believes the forward has shown a very thick skin to keep turning out for his country.
“If I was in Messi’s place I’d have stopped playing for the national team a long time ago, but kept playing for Barcelona,” he said, Marca reports.
“The criticism of Messi is an analysis that he doesn’t deserve.
“Neither from his mouth, or my mouth, or the mouth of the President of the Argentine Football Association has it been said that Messi will take a break from the national team.
“It gets very difficult to have to explain something that none of the protagonists has generated.”
Martino earlier this week suggested Messi would be in his squad to play Mexico, contrary to claims the player had asked for a break from the team.