Ossie Ardiles: Messi happier with Argentina than Barcelona

Lionel Messi Argentina

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Ossie Ardiles is adamant the four-time Ballon d'Or winner is now more comfortable playing for his national side than club team.

The former Spurs midfielder believes his side have a great chance of winning the World Cup this summer because their star player, Lionel Messi is now "happier" playing for Alejandro Sabella's team than the Catalan club. 

All throughout the 2013/14 season, Messi's form and body language had suggested his light was fading a little and his hunger and appetite for the game was on the wane. It even led to former Blaugrana assistant coach Angel Cappa to say he had lost his passion for football.

Despite Messi scoring a more than respectable 41 goals last season, Barcelona failed to pick up any silverware and he was over shadowed by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. It even led to former Blaugrana assistant coach Angel Cappa to say he had lost his passion for football.

But the 1978 World Cup winner disagrees. He feels that Messi will be hungry to perform at the World Cup after some underwhelming performances at both the 2006 and 2010 editions of the tournament. He also feels the fact that Sabella has built his attack around the 26-year-old means they can head into the tournament as strong favourites. 

"We have a very good team and we have the best player in the world in Lionel Messi on our side, so there is every reason to be optimistic," Ardiles wrote in the Times of India

"This time, it's the other way around: he hasn't had the best season with Barcelona, but for Argentina he has done extremely well in the qualifiers, where he scored more goals than anyone else.

"For us to win the World Cup, he has to be at his very best and I think he could be.

"This is because Alejandro Sabella has played a big part in giving him confidence and letting him play in the position he wants to play.

"Now he looks much happier playing for Argentina." 

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