Lionel Messi has taken a foul-mouthed swipe at Argentina’s critics, suggesting their performances are under-appreciated.
The South American giants suffered an extra-time defeat in the final of the 2014 World Cup against Germany and were also beaten by Chile at the last hurdle in the Copa America a year later.
Messi believes they deserve more credit for reaching the final in both tournaments, blasting the negative attention that emerged after they failed to claim their first senior international trophy since 1993.
“I get annoyed when they tell us put in more effort, you don’t feel the shirt,” he told TyC Sports.
“We were lucky enough to get to the final of the World Cup and the Copa America and it seems like we didn’t do anything.
“We got to two finals, for f***’s sake. We didn’t win, what can you do, but we got to the final, we didn’t lose in the last 16.
“Football is not just about having balls. We had bad times in the national team for what we experienced.
“We lost the final of the World Cup against Germany, who have great players, and we had great chances to win it. With Chile it was the same and we lost on penalties.”
Messi has come under fire for not singing the national anthem ahead of fixtures, and he is frustrated it has become an issue.
“I get annoyed by the people who attack you without thinking,” he added.
“I won’t sing the national anthem on purpose. I don’t need to sing it to feel it. Every person feels it in their own way.”
However, the Barcelona star still harbours the ambition to end Argentina’s trophy drought at the Copa America Centenario next year.
“Everything I play in with the national team is a priority and I want to win. It would be great to win the Copa America,” he said.