Up to Argentina to Get Best Out Of Messi, Say Barca
MADRID (Reuters) – Argentina have to create the right environment around Lionel Messi if they are to get the best out of him in the World Cup finals this summer, Barcelona sports director Txiki Begiristain said on Tuesday.
The World Player of the Year has been in sensational form for the European champions, with consecutive league hat-tricks making it 11 goals scored in his last five matches.
But while he puts on electrifying performances for his club in La Liga and in the Champions League winning widespread acclaim, he has yet to light up Argentina and Diego Maradona’s national team in quite the same way.
“There is no debate for us. We are delighted to have him, and to enjoy his talents, and we are anxious that Messi enjoys himself with his national team, which he adores,” Begiristain told Radio La Red.
“What I would like is that in Argentina they create a really good environment for something that is extraordinary. Argentina have the chance again to enjoy the best player on the planet and to fight for the world title.
“We are conscious that with him everything is much easier at Barcelona, and we suffer with him for the situation he’s going through with his country.
“It seems that he is constantly being questioned while in Europe and the rest of the world he is the undisputed number one.”
Begiristain also wanted to ease the burden of expectation being created around the player who could be the leading light of the World Cup finals in South Africa.
“Messi can’t win the title by himself,” Begiristain added. “But Argentina have a historic opportunity with Messi because in a tight quarter-final, semi-final or a final he could be decisive.”