With FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi having been criticised for his performances with Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a former Albiceleste star believes the forward should be left out of the team in future.
Jorge Sampaoli's Argentina disappointed at the World Cup in Russia, where they were knocked out of the round of 16 by France.
Despite having good moments of his own, Messi was unable to inspire his national team to any sort of success at the tournament, which is why 1978 World Cup winner Mario Kempes feels the Barcelona man must be left out of the team unless he is really needed.
"Messi must be left to rest from any national team duties because we have seen that there is nothing much he can do," he told Mundo Albiceleste.
"You have to start working with players who are based in Argentina. Only then, if it is necessary and if you feel like it, you can include Messi in the team."
Kempes also slammed the team for its lack of character.
"He (Messi) is the soul of the team and if things do not work, there is no one else who has the ability to put the team on his shoulder," he added.
"The players in the national team lack personality and courage."
Messi has contributed to 110 goals in 126 matches for Argentina since his senior debut in 2005.
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