Atletico Madrid and Uruguay defender Diego Godin says Lionel Messi plays better with FC Barcelona because he is shown too much respect by his La Liga opponents who are more interested in taking selfies than tackling him.
Lionel Messi’s performances with Argentina have been under scanner again following the loss of Argentina to Chile in the Copa America final.
Messi was a shadow of the player who took FC Barcelona to a treble glory as the Spanish side won all the trophies they participated in thanks to some magical performances by the Argentina captain.
Diego Godin reckons that defenders in South America tackle Lionel Messi more, unlike La Liga defenders who are only looking to click selfies with the FC Barcelona super star.
“It’s different in South America. There they mark him a lot more,a Godin told Uruguay television Teledoce.
a Sometimes we mess around, among teammates, and we say: In Spain before playing the games they take a photo with him, a little joke, but it’s the truth.
a People compete a lot more [in South America] and they mark him a lot tighter as well.a
The Atletico Madrid center back explained that he believes Messi is unable to replicate his club form with the national team because of difference in playing styles he has to adapt while playing for FC Barcelona and Argentina.
“[With Argentina] he has to come deeper and he has to break through two lines of players instead of just one, so it is more complicated for him,a Godin said.
a The pitches are different, too. It’s an accumulation of things that mean Messi’s numbers with Barca don’t translate to the national team.a
Well, Diego Godin does have a point, with Messi not really being a goalscorer but more of a play maker with Argentina, whereas with FC Barcelona he is more of a playmaking forward who does the damage more in the final third.
In total, Messi has 46 goals in 103 appearance for Argentina which pales in comparison to his incredible goal getting statistics with FC Barcelona.