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Playing overseas does not help Messi, according to the director...

Barcelona director Albert Perrin has declared that criticism is being directed at Lionel Messi from some quarters in Argentina, because they dare not criticise coach Diego Maradona, according to Marca.

Argentina have struggled through the World Cup qualifying campaign to this point, and they go into their last game needing a victory over Uruguay in Montevideo to guarantee their spot at the finals in South Africa.

Unfortunately for his sake, Messi has borne the brunt of the fans' frustration at the Albicelestes lacklustre performances.

"The coach is none other than Maradona. The figurehead of the national selection is Maradona and criticising him is difficult, so instead they criticise the head of the team [Messi]," Perrin said.

He also suggested that because Messi is not based in Argentina, he has no hometown support to defend him, and as a result is subjected to criticism from all angles.

He added, "Messi, unlike other players, has no home support. Messi has not recently left a team like Boca [Juniors] or River [Plate] or Velez. He plays at Barcelona and has no fans there, which is a handicap to him."

Paul Madden, Goal.com

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