World Cup - Messi needs 'inner peace' to be at his best, says Argentina boss

Argentina Coach Alejandro Sabella believes that the mental state of Lionel Messi is critical to his form on the pitch.

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Argentina's Lionel Messi

Sabella has said that in his opinion Messi is still the best player in the world despite an underwhelming campaign with Barcelona, and will be able to put aside this campaign when the World Cup gets underway.

“He looks well to me. Everyone wants to play with Messi and we’re ready for any opponent. He’s the best in the world,” Sabella told Sport.

“From the physical point of view I would like my players to arrive with a balance, neither too little nor too much.

“Psychologically, each player is different because they have different objectives and [Barca’s Argentine players] suffered the blow of not having gone further in the Champions League.

“But they are very strong mentally and recovered quickly. The fact that they don’t play as much is positive.

“The change in Messi with the national team was a personal growth from the mental side and the maturity as a person. It brings inner peace.

“Creating an enabling environment both on the pitch and off, to make him feel happy, was an important step.

“Leo knows what he represents and what he means but you have to give him peace. Even if he is the best player in the world, we have to try to be the best to support him and let the team prove itself.”

Read the original article on Football Espana - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Spanish football

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