Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa believes that the Argentine public puts too much pressure on Lionel Messi when he plays for the Albiceleste.
While the 24-year-old continues to break records at Barcelona, he has often received criticism in his homeland for failing to replicate his club form on the international stage.
However, the former Argentina coach says that the burden of expectation placed upon Messi's shoulders has worked against him.
"Messi is a completely proven player. And you know what Argentines do with people we admire? We subject them to a number of tests that nobody can pass, unless you are a world champion, like Diego Maradona," Bielsa said during a press conference.
"Messi will go through this process. We also show our affection with conjecture, putting in doubt everything we love and value."
Bielsa's Bilbao and Messi's Barcelona will meet at Camp Nou on Saturday.