13 December 2017
Argentina legend, Gabriel Batistuta, has attempted to explain why Lionel Messi isn’t quite the same player for his country as he is for Barcelona.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s domestic record speaks for itself, and he’s rightfully considered by many to be the best player in the world.
Messi has won four Champions League trophies and eight La Liga crowns during his time in Catalonia. He’s also lifted the Copa del Rey five times.
In terms of individual achievements, the 30-year-old has finished as Barcelona’s top goal scorer 16 times. He’s also been named UEFA player of the year three times, in addition to his aforementioned Ballon d’Or successes.
But in an Argentina shirt things haven’t always gone to plan.
In contrast Messi’s greatest achievement for his nation – other than single-handedly leading them to the 2018 World Cup – was winning gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Speaking about his compatriot, Batistuta explained how Barcelona accommodate Messi much more than Argentina.
“Basically because Barcelona have adapted to his way of playing,” Batistuta told Marca, when asked why Messi is better in La Liga.
“Players like Ronaldinho, Xavi, Neymar and others have come and gone but nothing has changed.
“The same with the coaches as they all look for the best team to play around him.
“At the same time it is not as easy to play Brazil or Germany as it is to face Eibar. Everything is more complicated with the national team.”