Argentina manager Tata Martino believes that if he had received the criticism that superstar Lionel Messi has been subjected to, he would have quit international football to focus on his exploits with FC Barcelona.

The four time Ballon D’Or winner has been subjected to heavy criticism from Argentine fans after the diminutive forward failed to win the Copa America for his country. Argentina lost 4-1 on penalties to Chile in the finals of the Copa America, but Messi was the only La Albiceleste player to convert from the spot in the shoot-out. The diminutive striker has not been at his prolific best in the national colours and has endured a goal drought from open play that stretches over 1000 minutes.

The criticism of Messi is an analysis that he doesna t deserve – Tata Martino

Speaking in a recent interview, as quoted by Football Espana, Martino said:

a If I was in Messia s place Ia d have stopped playing for the national team a long time ago, but kept playing for Barcelona.

a The criticism of Messi is an analysis that he doesna t deserve.

Earlier in the week the manager had said that the Argentine captain would be in his squad to play against Mexico. Martino has further quashed claims that the Barcelona star had asked for a break from national team.

a 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.

a It gets very difficult to have to explain something that none of the protagonists has generated.a

Messi can still help Argentina end their 22-year-long barren run .

Following the Copa America loss there were rumours going around in some sections of the media, suggesting that the Barcelona star was considering retirement from the national team. However, there have been no developments on that front so far and Argentina fans would be hoping it stays that way. For even if Messi has failed to win Argentina any silverware till date, he remains their only hope to end a 22-year-long barren run.