Lionel Messi Has 'Different Attitude' with Argentina, Says Daniel Passarella

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 22: Leo Messi of Argentina looks during warm up during the international friendly match between Argentina and Venezuela at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on March 22, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi plays better for Barcelona than Argentina because he has a "different attitude" when with his club, according to former Argentina captain Daniel Passarella.

Messi made his first International appearance since the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday but could not prevent Argentina from losing 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly, and he also picked up a groin injury.

He could not reproduce the form that has seen him score 29 La Liga goals in 26 games for Barca this season.

Passarella, who led Argentina to World Cup glory at their home tournament in 1978, believes Messi's differing form for club and country comes down to attitude, per Goal's Chris Burton:

"He's a great player who can give a lot to any team. But when he plays for Barcelona he has a different attitude. He's better there. Sometimes these things happen. You play well for a team and they love you, but you don't feel at ease and something doesn't fit. I don't know what it is, but it should be something you feel inside."

Messi, 31, has won 32 major honours with Barcelona, as well as five Ballons d'Or and five European Golden Shoes.

At international level, though, his only silverware is a 2008 Olympic gold medal.

The Rosario-born superstar has since finished as a runner-up at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America.

After the latter disappointment, Messi briefly retired from the international game. He subsequently returned and played a crucial role in Argentina qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, which they exited at the last-16 stage to eventual winners France.

Messi's return of 65 goals in 129 caps for Argentina is impressive by normal standards, but it does not match his club return, which is almost a goal per game across his career.

As well as potentially feeling less comfortable in the Argentina side than he does with the Blaugrana, Messi is also regularly let down by his team-mates on the international stage.

Argentina often fail to live up to their enormous potential, and it was again apparent against Venezuela that a majority of the team were playing below their best:

Due to his knock, Messi is likely to miss Tuesday's friendly against Morocco.

He should be back in international action in the summer, though, when Argentina will have another crack at winning the Copa America.

The Albiceleste will be in Group B at the Brazil tournament, alongside Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar.   

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