"Messi can't be the only guilty one".
Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI and Marcos ACUÑA held a press conference on Wednesday.
Reacting on the sad development, Messi's mum said it is painful when her son's loyalty to his country is under scrutiny. "Comparing players from different eras is impossible", stated Kempes in an interview with Italian newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport".
He has scored 64 goals in 124 worldwide appearances for Argentina.
Back-to-back defeats in Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016 compounded a desperate defeat in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany in Rio, with Messi majestic performances in those tournaments not enough to carry his side to victory.
"I am experiencing this period with the national team in a different way".
"With Leo, Argentina have only lost three or four games".
"It's true that winning them is important, but getting there is not easy".
On the show, Cuccittini said that it's Messi's dream to win a World Cup, but that the pressure he's under is enormous. "We'll see what happens and what he decides on the day", the 22-year-old Pavon said. "He more than anyone would give everything for this to be his World Cup". It's madness that he can not enjoy his talent. "I see a group of players which clearly don't work well together".
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Brazilian great Pele won the World Cup, as did Argentine icon Diego Maradona, while Ronaldo broke his duck on the worldwide stage as Portugal landed the Euro 2016 crown two years ago.
Messi and teammates have had a strained relationship with the Argentine media and have often felt unfairly criticised.
Argentina collected just seven points from eight games when Messi was missing for qualifying games, with that total transformed to 21 points in the ten games when he did start. They would have opened a little more and we could have found more spaces. "That's the reality of the situation", added the former Valencia player.
Argentina, with a population of more than 44 million, is fifth on the Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings list and has won the World Cup twice, being one of only eight teams in the world to have won the Cup.
This World Cup will provide just that opportunity. We are aware what we are playing for.
"Now we are here, we are in Russian Federation, we have to try and do everything we can to win the World Cup for Argentina, for ourselves, for Messi".
Spain secured their first victory at this year's World Cup following Diego Costa's second-half strike, but a defensive Iran were making life hard for Fernando Hierro's side.
He dare not fail again.