I will always play for Argentina, says Messi

I will always play for Argentina, says Messi

Despite fierce criticism from the fans and media for his below-par performance in the Copa America, Messi said he is not considering retiring from international football.

Earlier Thursday, Julio Grondona, president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), suggested Messi could stop playing for Argentina if fans and the media don't stop their criticism.

Messi said comments had an impact on the team. "We suffered a lot with the criticism, although we know we were not doing things right, but at the same time they helped us, because they made us stronger as a group. Although I get criticised, I will always come to the national team. I come because I always want to play and I will not change because of what the press say," said Messi during a press conference.

Messi said he is not bothered by the media criticisms. "I have never cared about what the press say and I will not start now. The only thing I care about is what the fans say... no-one likes to be insulted. I come to the national team because I feel it it is part of me, and I try to stay distant from all this. This is the first time I have been through something like this with the media, but I am not going to change."

Messi said it would be a mistake to compare the Argentina team with Barcelona. "It's a mistake to compare this team to Barcelona. We've all been working together at Barcelona for a long time. In the national team, we're trying to do something similar, keeping hold of the ball, dictating the rhythm of the game, but you can't compare the two teams, either as a group or in terms of individuals," he said.

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