Messi’s spot-kick on Saturday saw Barcelona climb back to the top of La Liga table, however, a former Argentina international goalkeeper, Hugo Gatti, is of the opinion that the Barcelona captain "spoils" his team.
Hugo Gatti has claimed that Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is no longer a phenomenal player, instead, he makes his team play at his own slow pace.
Gatti who is a two-time Copa Libertadores winner with the celestial Argentine club, Boca Juniors, has claimed that the 32-year-old walks more on the pitch now than he used to.
He told an Argentine Media house:
“I don't care if they criticise me in Argentina,
“I'm very Argentinian and Messi is a phenomenon, but he's not a phenomenon now
“They treat him wrong because they big him up and big him up and treat him wrong. He gets used to it and walks more on the pitch. He has to be better.
“Cristiano Ronaldo and him [Messi] are the two best.
“Messi has to be better, he's got used to playing at a weary rhythm, walking and those that know football think the same. Take off, kid. You have to play well.
“When there's a player like Messi, like it was with Maradona and Pele, and his teammates always give the ball to him to win the game.
“They spoil the team and they don't put everything they have into it.
“The team get used to giving him the ball and not anyone else.”
Messi is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all-time. He has also won the Ballon d’Or on six different occasions.
Despite all criticism against Messi, he has still coughed up 24 goals in 30 appearances for the Catalans this season in all competitions, providing 16 assists in the process.