Former footballer, Gabriel Batistuta is happy to see the responsibility being shared among the Argentinian team instead of the pressure on Lionel Messi’s shoulders.
Batistuta, who has over 75 caps for Argentina, added Messi himself will prefer the set-up as it is now and he is “loving” seeing other players coming through.
He told La Nacion: “For a long time we gave it total responsibility to Messi; first we condemn ourselves for thinking that we had Jesus Christ and he is Messi, yes, a great player, but he is not Jesus Christ, and then we condemn him too. We did damage for a long time.
“Now that has changed because he feels freer with these guys. Of course, if I have the ball and I can give it to Messi, I give it to him. If I have two teammates, I give it to Messi if I can. If there is a wall and he is behind it, I have to give it to the other one. Well, that’s what these kids understand. And they all play well. If they can’t give it to Messi, they’re going to give it somewhere else.”
“Messi is not stupid either. Do you know what it must be like to feel that others expect you to do everything? What if we all do it together? It sounds different. And it feels different.
“Go and ask Messi if he prefers to play in (Pep) Guardiola’s Barcelona, where he shared everything with great players, or play alone and score all the goals. That is why in this national team he must be happy seeing the personality of all the players. I love them.”
Messi may be glad to have more support in the national team but he this week hasn’t all been positive. He failed to make the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or awards for the first time since 2005.
Despite his own snub he has revealed who he believes will win the gong.
“I think this year there are no doubts, it is clear that Benzema had a spectacular year,” he told TyC Sports. “He ended up consecrating that year with the Champions League, being fundamental from the Round of 16 onwards in every game. I don’t think there are doubts this year.”