Copa America 2019: Mario Kempes advises Lionel Messi to take a break from the Argentina national team
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Argentina have endured a disastrous start to their Copa America campaign and presently find themselves at the bottom of their group with just one point from two games. Having lost 2-0 to Colombia in their first fixture, Argentina managed a 1-1 draw against Paraguay in their second match.
As a result, La Albiceleste run the risk of being knocked out from the group stages of the tournament. Argentina have to beat Qatar convincingly to progress to the knockout rounds of the Copa America.
Messi enjoyed a stellar individual campaign with Barcelona, netting 51 goals in all competitions. But he is yet to replicate his club form for his national team. Although the five-time Ballon d'Or winner won a gold medal in the Olympics with Argentina, he has failed to help his national team win a World Cup or a Copa America.
Despite his shortcomings, Messi remains Argentina's all-time leading scorer with 68 goals in 132 appearances.
The heart of the matter
Kempes is of the opinion Messi should take a break from the national team for both his and the Argentina squad's sake.
Speaking in an interview with TyC Sports, Kempes said:
"As things stand I think that giving Messi a break would not be a bad thing. Or maybe he should take a decision to have a rest. The players feel the need to give him (Messi) the ball. There is a lack of personality."
"What would happen if you take Messi out of this team? Why don't we (rest him) and try to form a team without Messi? That might allow some other players, who are very good for their clubs, bloom for the national team."
Argentina will take on Qatar at the Arena do Gremio on Sunday.