Argentina captain Lionel Messi says he is fed up with the criticism and assumptions made about him by his countrymen.
“A lot of things were said during the Copa América that was played in Argentina but none of them were true”, he said in a column published in La Nación.
“Of course I heard all those comments: that I did not want to play in the national squad, that I did not sing the anthem, or that I did not feel the passion of my jersey.
“It hurt me to arrive to my country and be unfairly attacked”, he added.
Messi hinted at what he perceived as fans’ lack of comprehension, saying “you have no answers then you do your best and do not succeed”.
However, he also recognised that “the public generally” recognises his achievements and that he is “grateful for everything that the national squad has given me”.
“Being the captain makes me very proud”, he wrote.
Earlier in the week, Messi said his international future will be determined by Argentina’s performance at the World Cup in Russia.
“It will depend on how far we go, how we’re going to finish” at the finals, Messi said in an interview with Spanish daily Sport.
“We’ve just lost three finals in a row, which has led to us going through some difficult moments with the press,” added the Barcelona forward.