London, Jul 1: Argentina legend Mario Kempes has said that Lionel Messi may be the best player in the world for his club, but he is yet to prove it for his country.
Messi failed to score a single goal in five games as Argentina crashed out of last year’s World Cup at the quarter-final stage.
Kempes, whose double strike downed Holland in the 1978 World Cup final, believes it’s time Messi delivered.
Looking ahead to the Copa America which kicks off in Buenos Aires this evening, Kempes said: “Leo has a debt to pay for Argentina. In a Barcelona shirt he shows he can be the best player in the world but we haven’t seen that for Argentina.
“We’ve all witnessed what he can do for Barcelona and what he’s achieved. It’s now time for him to show he can be as good if not better in an Argentina shirt,” The Sun quoted him, as saying
“We need him to perform and we need the team to perform. It’s a long time since we’ve won anything,” Kempes said.
With Barcelona, Messi has collected five La Liga titles and three Champions League winner’s medals.
Argentina coach Sergio Batista has been trying to get the best out of Messi by playing him as the central striker in a 4-3-3 formation that mirrors Barca’s tactics. (ANI)