‘My son asked me why they want to kill me!’ – Messi

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi claims his son Thiago asked him why fans want to “kill” him in Argentina after his latest setback on the international stage.

The 31-year-old returned to the La Albiceleste squad for last week’s friendly matches against Venezuela and Morroco, but he was forced to return to the Camp Nou early after sustaining an injury.

Messi played the full 90 minutes of Argentina’s 3-1 defeat at home to Venezuela last Friday, but a groin issue meant he had to sit out Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Morroco

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has often been made a scapegoat in his homeland for the national team’s recent failures, which is one of the reasons he took a break after the 2018 World Cup.

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Messi’s relationship with the South American media has always been fractious and he even announced his retirement from international duty in 2015 after missing out on winning the Copa America.

The Barca talisman later reversed his decision and led his country to the World Cup finals in Russia last year, but a last-16 exit at the hands of France did little to help cease hostilities.

During an interview with Argentinian radio show Club Octubre 94.7 FM this week, Messi has revealed that he finds the criticism “hard” and that his son has even picked up on the negative comments swirling in the media.

“It is hard, my son is always looking on YouTube and saw a video,” he began. “He asked me why in Argentina they want to kill me!

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“But I like to keep going. I still want to win something with the national team. I am going to play all the important games. We already reached a World Cup final [in 2014] and this is not that easy”.

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