Messi upset with criticism from Argentina fans

Argentina's Lionel Messi runs with the ball during an international friendly soccer match between Argentina and Venezuela at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Friday, March 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina star Lionel Messi admitted Friday to being upset with constant criticism in his homeland, saying in an interview that even his 6-year-old son asks why his countrymen attack his performances for the national team.

Many Argentinans feel Messi doesn't have the same enthusiasm for international soccer that he does for his club Barcelona.

They also questioned his silence after being eliminated from last year's World Cup by France, something Messi said he wanted to forget.

"I wanted to distance myself from the team, let time go by and cool myself. It was painful to end the cycle this way," Messi told radio Club 94.7.

"Many people said I should not return (to the national team). Family, friends. My 6-year-old (asked me) 'Why do they kill you in Argentina, daddy?'"

The 31-year-old Argentina captain said he still wants to win a tournament and will keep trying with the team under coach Lionel Scaloni.

"Those that don't like me will have to stand me a little longer," Messi said, adding he had already achieved "extraordinary things" with Argentina, including "a World Cup final, two Copa America finals, and that is not easy."

The five-time Ballon D'Or winner said he doesn't need to say he loves Argentina "in every instant" because he expresses his passion for his home nation "in another way."

Messi also denied he decides who plays for the national team.

"We have heard about this 'club of friends' thing for years. They say I pick the players, the coaches. I basically manage the whole AFA (Argentina's soccer association)," he ironically said.

Messi pointed out that average Argentinians are kind with him whenever he visits the South American country.

"I get upset that people are lied to," Messi said.

The striker insisted his absence in Argentina's 1-0 victory in a friendly against Morocco in Tangier on Tuesday was due to injury.

"I have a groin injury since the break in December and I have trained less, I haven't played all the matches," he said.

Before the win, Argentina lost to Venezuela 3-1 in Madrid in a friendly that marked Messi's return.

Scaloni said after that match that Messi will surely play in this year's Copa America, June 14 to July 7 in Brazil.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

People also read these

South American coalition relaunches bid for 2030...

Mar 20, 2019

A South American coalition hoping to host the 2030 World Cup relaunched their bid on Wednesday with...

At 3rd big tourney in a row, Belgium should start...

Sep 4, 2017

Belgium is going to a major tournament for the third straight time and it should start to live up...

Tolisso leads Bayern over Anderlecht 2-1 in Group...

Nov 22, 2017

Corentin Tolisso set up one goal and scored another to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over Anderlecht...

FIFA hopeful VAR will prevent World Cup...

May 8, 2018

Frozen screens, bendy offside lines and other technical glitches have made the Video Assistant...

Belgium extends contract with coach Martinez...

May 18, 2018

Before the World Cup, Belgium extends the contract of coach Roberto Martinez for two years even...

About Us

The Score Daily brings to you the up-to-date record of your favorite sports team. Whether it is soccer, football, basketball, tennis, or rugby - you can get all the latest news update right here as we’ve got you covered.

Contact us: sales[at]thescoredaily.com

Subscribe Now!