Andres Iniesta believes Barcelona should have won several more Champions League titles with Lionel Messi in the side and is surprised Argentina have not won the World Cup with his former team-mate in the ranks.
Messi, who has won the Ballon d’Or a record six times, has won Europe’s top club competition on four occasions, though international glory with Argentina continues to elude the Rosario-born forward.
Iniesta, however, insists that his old colleague is still the best player in the world, declaring his belief that little details can sway the balance of games.
“It surprises me in the sense that Argentina has had great footballers, a team with spectacular players and having, for me, the player who is number one,” Iniesta told Ole of the South American side’s ongoing silverware drought.
“So they haven’t succeeded, but what happened against Germany (1-0 loss in 2014 World Cup final), for example, are small details. Small moments tip the balance for one team or another. If they played another game maybe it would turn out differently. I also feel that Barca are at their level because they’ve had Leo for so long. Four Champions Leagues have been won, but having the team we had and being able to count on Leo, surely we should have won it more. But this is football. Rivals play, they are also very good and the important thing is to savour the moment when you do win things.”
Despite Messi’s incredible list of personal and club honours, there are still detractors in his home country that claim the team captain has not done enough. Iniesta, though, believes they are just looking for a scapegoat.
The Spaniard added: “In the end, when the results don’t come, this type of situation happens, looking for someone to blame. For me, it’s very difficult to say that Leo has played a bad game because that’s practically impossible.
“But hey, there are times when things turn out better, others turn out worse. Also, you can’t compare the environment or the Argentine team with one like Barca, which works every day to play in a certain way.”
Reported by: Vincent Paul