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Tévez defends Messi from Argentina critics: 'If I were criticized like Messi, I would not return"

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Following the Argentina national team's second straight major Cup final loss in the Copa América against Chile this year, the Argentine media harshly criticized Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for being responsible for the Albiceleste's tough losses. Because of that criticism, Messi was rumored to even take a break from the national team, at least in 2015, but he was included in Tata Martino's list for upcoming friedlies next month.

Messi has many critics in Argentina, but he can find comfort with his teammates, especially Carlos Tévez, the former Juventus star who returned to his home country to end his career. Tévez took a hard stance against the media and in favor of his team captain and friend, saying he wouldn't come back to the Albiceleste if he was wearing Leo's shoes.

"If I were Messi and had to listen to the criticism he has had, I would not return. He has to really love the Argentine shirt to keep coming back. This has to hurt [Messi] because it also hurts his family.

"You can criticise a player who didn't play well or who wasn't fit for a match but you can't say he doesn't step up or say awful things outside of football about him as they have, you just can't. As a journalist, you have to give a message each day. You can be in agreement or not, you can like a player or not like him, but you can't kill him like that.

Source: ESPN FC

You know what's interesting? Messi and Tévez allegedly hated each other, and the reason why Carlitos spent four years without playing for the national team was because Messi, The Dictator didn't want him there. Tévez had absolutely no need to give his take on the problem, let alone defend Messi. But he did anyway.

Interesting, right?