Messi savors special night with Argentina
BERNE - Reuters
AFP photoLionel Messi has long had to contend with the criticism that he saves his best for Barcelona but his first hat-trick for Argentina proved a perfect riposte against those who doubted his international credentials.
“I had been waiting for a long time for this moment because on a lot of occasions things didn’t work out for me,” he told Argentine television after the 3-1 win over Switzerland on Feb. 29.
“Now, things have worked out, the team won and we did well. It’s special because it happened with the national team.” Failure to score at the 2010 World Cup or last year’s Copa America had baffled observers, with some questioning his commitment and others making him a scapegoat for the team’s failings, even under the eccentric leadership of Diego Maradona. Three times World Player of the Year, Messi has won all his major honors with Barcelona.
“I’ve said on a lot of occasions that we can’t compare with Barcelona, they are two different things, but it’s also the case the national team has great players capable of playing great games,” Messi said.