Kolkata: The phenomenal club form more often than not deserts Lionel Messi when he turns up for Argentina but coach Alejandro Sabella on Thursday said the star striker remains the best player of the squad. (Agencies)
Messi can't seem to set a foot wrong when he turns up for Barcelona and is the club's leading goal-scorer but the diminutive striker fails to show similar form for his country drawing criticism from Argentine fans and media.
But Sabella said he finds the club vs country debate unfair.
"He is the best player of Barcelona as well as Argentina. They have a squad who are playing together for about five to 10 years," Sabella said ahead of his team's friendly match against Venezuela on Friday.
"(Argentina and Barcelona) are different teams with different styles. He is with Barca for last 10 years and the club is the best club in the world.
"In the national side, they meet three four days before the match. It is difficult to make a comparison as the climate, the city, and the pitches are different," he said.
The 56-year-old said it is relatively easy for players in European competitions.
"Referee takes much more care in Europe. They are concerned about the players," Sabella said.
"English football is completely different. Argentine football is fast and more vertical and players will like to have a feel of the ball more.
"The difference is outside the pitch too. Argentine fans want to win matches like there is no tomorrow. English fans are more composed that way," he added.
He said the coach faces many difficulties when the players assemble only a few days in advance for the national side.
Kolkata: The phenomenal club form more often than not deserts Lionel Messi when he turns up for Argentina but coach Alejandro Sabella on Thursday said the star striker remains the best player of the squad.