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Argentina's tactics and inability to prepare are the reasons Messi cannot perform for the national team. In addition, Menotti believes that the Barcelona star is expected to do everything for the team...

Cesar Menotti has hit out at Lionel Messi's critics, stating that the Barcelona star is able to play for his club but has to run and run for his national team.

The veteran trainer, who led the Albiceleste to World Cup glory in 1978, thinks that blaming the diminutive Blaugrana forward is unacceptable because of his differing roles with club and country.

Despite helping Argentina to a crucial win at the weekend, Messi was again highlighted as under-performing, and that has drawn Menotti's ire.

"Argentina do not yet have a functioning team. They have not had the time to find that unity and team play," he told Sport.

"That is completely different from the way that Messi does things with Barcelona. He started at the club, then was on the bench and then began to play for a few minutes before claiming a regular place.

"Messi is not responsible for the strategy at Barcelona. That is [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi and [Yaya] Toure.

"Messi is the one that completes the moves.

"When it comes to Argentina they expect Messi to cope with he strategy of the team, to create goals and score them, to do everything.

"The team runs around a lot because they play badly. There they need to run more. But this is a football team, not a marathon club.

"Messi plays for Barcelona, but [with] Argentina he runs."

Menotti then explained why he feels that Diego Maradona has been unable to create a team out of so many stars.

"The team has not yet reached the level that was expected. The Argentina side have not had a coach for a long time," he continued.

"Not because they do not know how to, but because they are not able to because there is not enough time as all the players are in Europe.

"You cannot direct a great orchestra if the musicians are in Roma and the conductor is in Buenos Aires."

Lucas Brown, Goal.com

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