Lionel Messi critics don't deserve his unparallelled greatness

Lionel Messi is the best football player in history. However, Barcelona and, especially, Argentina supporters do not often seem to realise how lucky they are to have the privilege of counting the spectacular No.10 as one of their own.

Diario Ole, the most important sporting newspaper in Argentina, was too quick to put the blame on Messi following their defeat in the Copa America final, publishing non-sense such as "Messi just wandered around the pitch", "Messi did not turn up in the final", "He doesn't deserve the captain's band" and other similarly shameful attacks on their star player -- the one that almost single-handedly took them to the World and Continental finals in the space of 12 months.

To those ungrateful Argentineans who still don't quite understand that football is a team game, here are a couple of thoughts: Would you consider Messi the best player in history if the very clumsy Gonzalo Higuain hadn't wasted those two clear chances in both finals? Would you rather La Pulga took a step back and stayed in Barcelona resting so that you can field your beloved Carlos Tevez instead? Ridiculous.

Always the perfect professional, Messi faced the critics and published the following heart-felt message: "There's nothing more painful in football than losing a final. But I don't want to leave it any longer to say thank you to everyone who has always supported us and continued to during the tough moments."

Despite the rumours which are speculating of the quadruple Ballon d'Or winner may be considering to take an extended break from international football given the unjustified criticism he receives whenever he plays for Argentina, such scenario would be quite uncharacteristic for a player of his self-belief and competitive nature.

Those who criticise Messi for everyone else's mistakes simply do not deserve him and should understand that football titles are only won by hungry, talented, well-organised teams which are lead by outstanding managers -- which is certainly not the case of the Argentina team which lost the Copa America final on penalties.

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