Boca Juniors forward Carlos Tevez has comeAi??out in defence of Argentina captainAi??Lionel Messi over criticism of theAi??FC BarcelonaAi??star’sAi??international failures.

Lionel Messiai??i??s performances with Argentina have been under the scanner again, following Argentinaai??i??s Copa America final defeat to Chile earlier in the summer.

In the final, Messi was shadow of the player who took FC Barcelona to a treble last season courtesy of some magical displays.

After his performance in the final, Messi cameAi??under heavy criticism. Fans called for him to beAi??dropped from the national side and the legendary Diego Maradona, among others, questionedAi??if Messi was Swedish or Argentine.

Tevez defends Messi

However, leaping to the defence of the Argentina captain was his international team mate Carlos Tevez, who has just signed for Boca Juniors from Juventus, the side FC Barcelona beat in the Champions League final.

Tevez was quoted saying by ESPN FC:Ai??”If I were Messi and had to listen to the criticism he has had, I would not return. He has to really love the Argentine shirt to keep coming back.”

“You can criticise a player who didn’t play well or who wasn’t fit for a match but you can’t say he doesn’t step up or say awful things outside of football about him as they have, you just can’t. As a journalist, you have to give a message each day. You can be in agreement or not, you can like a player or not like him, but you can’t kill him like that.”

Tevez admits Argentina need to put more in to win trophies

Argentina have not won a major trophy since 1992. And Tevez admitted that the national team players need to put in more effort to ensure the record is put to bed.

He said:Ai??”If we had lifted ourselves up with just 20 percent more of what we already had, we would have won the Cup. It was a huge blow. Look, I have been through difficult moments but regarding the national team, he has been through the worst.”

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