• News

Batistuta backs ‘Martian’ Messi to bounce back from Ballon d’Or snub

Messi at PSG
Getty Images

The Argentine icon failed to reach Ballon d’Or’s 30-man short list for the first time since 2005.

Argentine legend Gabriel Batistuta believes Lionel Messi will regain his best form after an underwhelming debut campaign at Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi scored six goals and provided 14 assists in Ligue 1 last season. His form was much better in the Champions League, where he netted five times in seven matches for PSG.

The former Barcelona star didn’t have a place on Ballon d’Or’s shortlist for Men’s Player of the Year. However, Batistuta believes his countryman’s mentality will motivate him to regain his form as soon as possible.

“He’s going to do more! He is a Martian!” Batistuta said of Messi.

“I didn’t play until I was 40 because they didn’t give me the ankles, but I understand his mentality. 

“He has shown that he can go on, so why stop. We all play because we have a goal, and the goal here is to be the best in the world… forever. And that moves him. And he’s going to play until he gets kicked out, I imagine.

All you need in a VPN — and more

“I don’t see him leaving. Yes, there comes a time when the physique no longer allows you to continue, but if it’s because of the mentality, he and Cristiano Ronaldo, they are different.

“The ability of Messi cannot be compared to anyone. Cristiano surpassed all the rest because of his mentality, because of working and working. Many play like Cristiano, but he has his ego, we all have an ego, you have your ego, I have mine, the one who doesn’t have an ego does nothing.

“Diego [Maradona] had an ego, and Pele too. They are guys who put everything together: physical conditions, ability, character, ambition, ego and they stood out. There are many who train the same or even more, but they are not driven by the same motivation.

“Messi is going to play well at this World Cup, and not because it could be the last, because he sure wanted to win the previous ones, but now he has a good team around him.”