BUENOS AIRES - It is a mistake to
compare Argentina with Barcelona as the Spanish club have been
working as a unit for a lot longer, Lionel Messi said on
Argentina have been pilloried by the media after drawing
their opening two Copa America games before crushing Costa Rica
3-0 in their final group match, thanks largely to an inspired
They face Uruguay in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
While Messi has been largely spared the criticism, his
commitment to the Argentine set-up has been questioned in the
past. Some pundits have even suggested he might walk away from
the national side and concentrate on club football at Barcelona.
"I've never been bothered by what they say in the press and
I never will be," Messi said. "I don't think anyone likes it
when they're whistled and insulted. We're the first ones who
want to do things well.
"It's a mistake to compare this team to Barcelona," he
added. "We've all been working together at Barcelona for a long
"In the national team we're trying to do something similar,
keeping hold of the ball, dictating the rhythm of the game, but
you can't compare the two teams, either as a group or in terms
Argentina are hoping Messi can lead them to their first
major success since their last Copa America triumph in Ecuador
"Argentina need a trophy," he said. "It's a long time since
we've won one."
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