Sa­bella: Messi will shine at World Cup

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Ar­gentina coach Ale­jan­dro Sa­bella has urged his side to cre­ate the right cli­mate to al­low Lionel Messi to flour­ish at this sum­mer’s World Cup.

Messi has faced crit­i­cism in re­cent weeks af­ter fall­ing be­low his usual ex­tra­or­di­nary per­for­mance lev­els for Barcelona, no­tably in the Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal de­feat to Atletico Madrid and the 2-1 loss to ri­vals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey fi­nal.

Sa­bella is un­per­turbed by those crit­i­cisms, how­ever, and is con­fi­dent Messi can shine in front of the world au­di­ence when Brazil hosts the World Cup later this year, pro­vid­ing his team-mates pro­vide the right as­sis­tance.

“Messi is fine but we must try to be the best pos­si­ble team to help him,” Sa­bella told re­porters.

“We have to get the team to be more com­pact, oc­cupy the spa­ces.

“Messi has ma­tured as a per­son, he has in­te­rior peace, but we have to cre­ate a cli­mate that will al­low him to be happy, I think we have to let him be calm.”

The 26-year-old has net­ted 39 goals in 42 ap­pear­ances in all com­pe­ti­tions for Barcelona this term.

Messi pre­vi­ously fea­tured for Ar­gentina at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but was un­able to help the Al­bice­leste past the quar­ter-fi­nals in both in­stances.

Ben­e­fi­cia­ries at the launch of FIFA 11 For Health reach­ing out to 4,000 chil­dren in Brazil.

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