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Messi's struggles to impress in his homeland continue as tennis star Juan Martin Del Potro beats the Barcelona superstar to the annual award...

It seems that winning the Copa del Rey, La Liga, Champions League, Spanish Supercup, European Supercup, Club World Cup, Ballon d'Or, and the FIFA World Player of the Year is not enough to impress Argentina.

The South American nation today voted tennis star Juan Martin Del Potro ahead of Barcelona's Lionel Messi as Argentina's Athlete of the Year for 2009. Del Potro won the U.S. Open as well as prestigious tournaments in Auckland and Washington and was a finalist in the Masters Series Finals in London.

The snub is the latest development in what has become a frosty relationship between Messi and his home country as the Argentine's performances for the national side have been underwhelming, and far less pivotal than his contributions for Barcelona.

Whilst Argentina still qualified for next summer's World Cup without having to play in the play-off round, it seems nothing but Mundial glory for the Albiceleste will be enough to merit praise for the youngster, the best player in the world in the planet's most popular sport.

Cyrus C. Malek, Goal.com

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