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Lionel Messi 'obsessed' with Argentina according to former Barcelona coach Tata Martino

Sunaadh Sagar
03 Mar 2016, 19:24 IST
Messi Argentina Martino
Lionel Messi has yet to win a major trophy with Argentina

Lionel Messi is obsessed with succeeding with Argentina, according to Albiceleste manager Tata Martino who had managed the forward at Barcelona as well. Martino also noted that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner would trade his personal accords for a World Cup win with Argentina, which means that the coach does not take kindly to Messi being questioned.

Speaking to radio program Jogo Bonito, Martino revealed the depth of Messi’s will to win for Argentina, saying “Messi received the award for the fifth time but remember he would prefer to win something with the national side. He has an obsession with Argentina.”

The incident Martino was referring to was Messi’s comments prior to his 5th Ballon d’Or victory. When asked by a reporter if he would trade all his Ballon d’Or awards for a World Cup victory with Argentina, Messi replied, “The World Cup is the highest thing you can reach as a player. So the World Cup [in lieu of Ballons d’Or], definitely.”

Messi’s commitment to Argentina has repeatedly been questioned, as his staggering success with Barcelona has been dwarfed by his lack of a single major trophy with Argentina, which has meant that the populace of his native land do not hold him in high esteem, rating Maradona higher than Messi, given the portly legend’s almost single-handed 1986 FIFA World Cup success with the Albiceleste.

Confident of Copa America success

Messi’s downheartedness after coming close to the Copa America win last year was plain for all to see as he collected his runners-up medal. However, the Argentine wizard can fulfill his obsession at the Copa America Centenario this year in the United States.

Martino was quietly confident of success, but pointed out the team’s responsibilty in earning success, saying “"Leo cannot always be the savior. It has to be that the team helps him out.”

However, the Argentina coach is cautious about claiming Argentina is favourites, as he’s concerned about opponents figuring out his tactics, saying “The ideas of our game plan are slowly being picked up, but we need to have more continuity.”

Given that Argentina have been drawn with Chile, the same team that defeated them in the final of the 2015 Copa America, Martino will be hoping for a better outcome this time around, saying “I would prefer to meet Chile again but a different result to the final.”

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