Sergio Batista said Wednesday that Barcelona had taken on board elements of Argentinian football in answer to demands that Lionel Messi and company should play more like the Catalan giants.
"I always said Barcelona stole the historical essence of Argentinian football," opined Argentina coach Batista.
"I was born with this essence and always lived it out."
Earlier Batista, a member of his country's 1986 World Cup-winning squad, had told broadcaster ESPN: "I don't have to copy Barcelona; nor do I have to ask (Barca coach Pep) Guardiola for advice."
Noting their Messi-inspired win over Costa Rica to reach the Copa America quarter-finals Batista added: "We won playing well and that bolsters confidence."