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Lionel Messi’s father says the Argentina captain is exhausted

Jul 12, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

Lionel Messi AP

Lionel Messi is used to facing criticism when he pulls on the Argentina shirt, often being accused of not being able to replicate his Barcelona form when playing for his country.

He must have thought he’d finally escaped these critics. After all, it was through Messi — almost single-handedly — that Argentina made it through to the knockout stages. It was Messi’s pass that set up Ángel di María for the late winner against Switzerland, putting the albiceleste into the quarterfinals.

But in the last two rounds, Messi has failed to score or assist. So naturally, the critics are back. And they’re likely taking their toll on the No. 10, wearing him down.

After a recent conversation with his son, Messi’s father Jorge told Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo that he is suffering from extreme fatigue. “Leo said it looked like his legs weighed 100 kilos. He was very tired,” he said.

Someone should ask Messi whether his shoulders ache as well. After all, the slight forward is carrying not just his team, but the weight of a country’s expectations. Should Argentina fail to win on Sunday night, much of the blame will be piled on him.

However, should Messi be lifting the trophy at the end of all this, past criticism will be forgotten. He will truly be an Argentine hero, capable of taking his place alongside Diego Maradona. At that point, you can bet that he’ll forget all about the weight of his legs or how exhausted he felt going into the final match.

  1. geejon - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Maybe if Argentina could actually manage to score in regulation they wouldn’t have to keep playing 30 extra minutes of futbol every game and he wouldn’t be as tired.

  2. betowess - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Pobrecito, Go Germany!

  3. mcba1n - Jul 13, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    This is Messi’s last proper chance at it. The team is just nowhere near the quality of Germany – but who knows? Messi needs this win for his legacy more than any other living player. Be interesting to see what the best player on the planet can do v the best D on the planet. I’m cheering for Messi, but Argentina will likely get spanked good.

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