The former Argentina international hits out at the 27-year-old, arguing that he failed to meet expectation after the South Americans fell to a 1-0 defeat to Germany
Kempes, who top-scored when the Albiceleste won their first World Cup in 1978, echoed Fifa president Sepp Blatter's views in being surprised that Messi was awarded the Golden Ball.
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"Argentina needed Messi like a fish needs water but he needed to be more involved. We lacked his footballing brain," he told the press.
"I think that Messi wasn't up to standard during the World Cup. He may have scored four goals in the first few games but I don't believe he showed he was the best player in the world by the end of the tournament."
The 60-year-old also noted that Argentina, who finished as runners-up after Mario Gotze came off the bench to break the deadlock with an extra-time winner for Germany, struggled to find an attacking spark, which he believes was their main downfall in Brazil.
"Our main concern, which was the defence, ended up being the attack," he remarked. "The world seems upside down."