Lionel Messi has been an absolute joy to watch over the years, but success with Argentina has continued to evade him throughout his career.
The 31-year-old has had a glittering career at club level, scoring countless goals and winning an endless list of trophies and individual accolades.
However, despite scoring 65 goals in 129 games for the senior Argentina side, the closest he has come to landing a major honour is being a runner-up at the 2014 World Cup and a three-time runner-up in the Copa America in 2007, 2015 and 2016.
He did win an Olympic Gold Medal in 2008 as well as a U20 World Cup in 2005, but ultimately, given the quality that has passed through the senior Argentina squad over the years, they have undoubtedly underachieved while having one of the greatest players ever leading their charge.
With an often less than favourable response from the Argentine media, Messi has now revealed that even his son has asked him why he gets so much criticism in their homeland.
“A lot of people were saying that I shouldn’t come back [after the World Cup] and my 6-year-old son [Thiago] even asked me why they crucify me in Argentina.
“I’m used to what they say about me, they are always making things up about me. Nothing surprises me.
“There are a lot of lies being told and it makes me angry because people believe what they say. Anybody can say anything, people buy into it and then I’m the bad guy.
“The truth is I went into the international break with a strain I’ve had since before the winter break. It’s a complicated groin issue. I feel better, but I have to look after myself.”
Time will tell whether or not he can still deliver a major trophy for his country before he hangs up his boots, and while it will perhaps solidify the opinion that he is the best of all time if he were to lead Argentina to World Cup glory, it shouldn’t negatively impact on his reputation to this level.
Time is running out though, as at 31 years of age, Messi doesn’t have too many more opportunities to end Argentina’s barren run and he’ll certainly need the right players around him to do their part too.