Brazil full-back Daniel Alves believes Lionel Messi struggles to replicate his Barcelona form on the international stage because the Argentina squad is inferior to that at the Nou Camp.
FIFA World Player of the year Messi was the top scorer in Spain last season and the creative force behind the Catalan giants retaining their Primera Division crown, yet he has rarely shown such brilliance in an Argentina shirt.
Alves told The Times: "I think the reason Messi has difficulties with Argentina is because there is no comparison between Barcelona and Argentina. With all respect to the players in Argentina, there is no comparison between the two.
He added: "At Barcelona, he has players of his level."