Famed Argentinian journalist Fernando Niembro has called on Lionel Messi to bow out from the national team as they suffered an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Croatia in their World Cup group stage game on Thursday.
Niembro's statements were based on the idea that Barcelona legend Messi has too much control over the national team, including picking who he wants, while he is unable to deliver like he does for Barcelona.
As revealed to Marca, Niembro said, "Messi owns the Argentina team. He is the coach of the Argentina team and what he decided to do is play his friend and this is the result of putting your friends. A weak team, a team that isn't what it can be, a team without heart."
He then appealed to Messi as he continued, "Messi we asked for heart. You are the best player, when a team fails what you ask of the best player is that you dig deep and you couldn't even do that."
He concluded by targeting Messi's 'friends' in the team as he said, "Enough of Mascherano, your friend, enough from Sampaoli and his contradictions, enough of putting pressure, enough of taking control without a plan. And the truth, once Messi walked away from the Argentina team, and it wouldn't be bad if he thought about it again."