The 59-year-old says the forward has no limits and believes he will produce his best football for Argentina provided he is afforded enough freedom on the pitchEXCLUSIVE
By Pilar Suarez
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella has hailed Lionel Messi's ability to keep on improving his game as the Barcelona star continues to break records.
The 26-year-old became his club's all-time top goalscorer on Sunday after netting a hat-trick in the Catalans' 7-0 La Liga win over Osasuna.
"You always think that it will be hard for him to improve even further, yet he keeps on doing just that. Nobody knows what the limits of an extraordinary player like Messi are," Sabella told Goal.
Messi spent two months on the sidelines earlier this season, but the Argentina boss believes he's back to his usual best again having shaken off his injury problems.
"His injuries have affected his form. He didn't have a good pre-season due to his physical problems.
"He has fully recovered now, though, and has been doing very well again. He showed his extraordinary ability again versus Manchester City."
Sabella then went on to discuss Messi's role with Argentina and was quick to stress that it's vital for the forward to be given freedom to express himself.
"Messi must be given a certain freedom on the pitch. You can tell him to help the team when he loses the ball, but only up to a certain point. The fundamental thing is that he is feeling well and is fresh when the others get the ball to him.
"Messi has the freedom to roam around on the pitch and get into positions where he feels comfortable. He can receive the ball wherever he thinks is best."
The 26-year-old received his fair share of criticism after he failed to lead Argentina to success at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but Sabella has insisted that the forward cannot do it all by himself.
"Irrespective of how good and extraordinary a player is, he needs the support of his team.
"It's going to be very difficult if there's no balance in the team. You need a solid team if you are to win the World Cup."