'Criticise Messi and the conversation ends!' - Argentina team-mate's brutal rule

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The Barcelona star endured a frustrating year, but has the support of his compatriot, who has dismissed the forward's detractors

Lionel Messi's Argentina team-mate Mariano Andujar refuses to entertain critics of his compatriot, insisting that the Barcelona star "does everything well."

Despite enjoying a remarkable career, Messi has occasionally found himself on the receiving end of criticism from figures within the game, including Diego Maradona, who recently expressed his disappointment at the 29-year-old's absence from The Best FIFA Football awards ceremony.

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However, Estudiantes goalkeeper Andujar, who has been capped 11 times for the Albiceleste, says that he has no time for those who are critical of his compatriot, stressing that he is "a leader."

"If someone criticises Messi, or one of my team-mates, the conversation ends there with me," the 33-year-old told TYC Sports

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The goalkeeper added: "[Messi] is a leader on and off the pitch. He does everything well. Even when he gets angry he gets angry well!"

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Messi was overshadowed in 2016 by long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo, whose performances saw him scoop a series of accolades, including the Ballon d'Or and FIFA's inaugural 'The Best' award.

Nevertheless, the forward has found the net 15 times in 16 league appearances for Barcelona this season, as well as scoring 10 goals in five Champions League outings.