Argentina left-back Nicolas Tagliafico accepts the national team simply do not know how to make the most of Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
At club level, Messi has been arguably the most consistently brilliant player in the world for more than a decade, while many regard him as the greatest of all time having scored at least 25 goals in every LaLiga season since the 2009-10 campaign and won every competition possible with Barcelona.
Although Messi is Argentina’s record goalscorer with 65 and just 20 appearances shy of being their most-capped player, many feel his international career has been underwhelming, particularly after the disappointment of the 2018 World Cup when Argentina exited to France in the last 16.
Messi has not played for his country since the tournament in Russia, and although he is expected to bring an end to his international hiatus on Thursday, Tagliafico concedes Argentina have never worked out how to get the best from him.
“We have seen two glorious stages in our football with [Cesar Luis] Menotti and [Carlos] Bilardo, which are two different ways of understanding football,” Ajax defender Tagliafico told Marca.
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“We have not found out which is the best [style of play] for our time, or which one is the best to help Leo [Messi].
“He’s the best player in the world and we do not know how to take advantage of him.
“We have to find an idea or a coach that makes us understand the opportunity he represents and bring that order we need.
“It’s not the same to be in a club for 15 years knowing everything. In the national team, either because of the change of president, coach or because of the passion we have that blinds us, we are not able to put together projects every year. That’s not easy.
“Leo did not have the luck to be crowned. He reached three finals, but we do not have the project that, for example, Barca does.”
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