Despite winning the Ballon d’Or for an unprecedented fifth time this year, Argentina’s national team coach Tata Martino thinks that Lionel Messi is just an ordinary guy.
The 53-year-old manager recently expressed his thoughts on the biggest player under his wing — Lionel Messi, saying that people need to understand that he’s a normal person under a lot of pressure.
“We need to understand how difficult it is to be Lionel Messi,” Martino said, in an exclusive interview with Goal.com.
“Despite being the greatest, Messi is an ordinary guy. He speaks like a normal guy, he acts like a normal guy. As a normal person, he has family, day-to-day problems in his life, friends and family, the usual.
“Messi hasn’t achieved everything yet. It should be clear to everyone that his life isn’t all plain sailing. In football, things don’t always go his way. It’s clear that not having won with Argentina weighs on him.”
Messi plays with his heart for Argentina
Messi has often been accused of ignoring his country as a footballer, and focusing more on La Liga giants FC Barcelona where he has been playing since the beginning of his professional career. The Argentine superstar has grown frustrated at such unfounded criticism, having almost single-handedly dragged his country to the 2014 World Cup finals before losing out to Germany in Brazil.
Messi won the Golden Ball award at the grandest stage of them all. Though his tally of 4 goals and 1 assist may belie his true importance for Argentina, one would do well to remember he scored at crucial moments for an otherwise low-scoring team. Messi also had the most key passes (23) and highest average player rating in the tournament.