Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players ever to have graced the beautiful game. There is simply nothing he cannot do on the pitch, be it playmaking, dribbling and scoring big goals. The Argentine also has one of the sharpest minds in football.
It's not just Messi's otherworldly abilities on the ball, but also his consistency that has translated into a giant trophy cabinet.
In a career that has seen him score over 700 goals for club and country at the top level, Messi has won an astonishing 34 trophies with Barcelona over the last 16 years.
If at all there is something that reduces his chances of being regarded as the best-ever football player, it is his record for Argentina.
"Not sure if Lionel Messi was born in the right country" - Gugnali
Despite having an impressive record of 70 goals for his country, Messi's international career has been plagued by off-field issues, feuds with the board and an excessive shipping of managers.
Messi came close to lifting the most coveted trophy in world football back in 2014 when his Argentina side fell short to Germany.
Since then, La Albiceleste have been unable to stamp their authority on the rest of the world or America.
Former Argentina assistant manager Claudio Gugnali has slammed the Argentina faithful for disrespecting Lionel Messi despite his relentless service for the nation as a talisman and captain.
Speaking to Segundo Tiempo, he said:
"I do not know if Messi was born in the right country, because I do not see that the soccer people respect him or enjoy him in the way that should be done."
A historic goal in extra time from Mario Gotze broke a million Argentine hearts, including Messi's and Gugnali's. Reflecting on the World Cup final loss, the former assistant remarked:
"I do not know how many more times players of the quality of these will appear, who grew up and trained together. It was all very nice. The memories are pleasant, there is not much to reproach since a final was reached after 24 years. It was achieved with an identity, with the total support of the people and the truth is that we were going to be world champions."
However, Gugnali believes Lionel Messi and co. should have won the Copa America. He added:
“If I move away from the love I have for them, I would reproach them for not having won the Copa America. That can be reproached because they were already at a level of competition that in America were far the best and they could not specify those two cups that were played together."
Lionel Messi has, in fact, endured a tough time at Barcelona of late as well, for his comments in the media on Eric Abidal and his own squad. There have also been rumours circling around regarding his shock exit from Camp Nou.
However, Messi's primary focus will now be on winning the Champions League with Barcelona next month.
Published 16 Jul 2020, 16:08 IST