Argentina's poor start to Copa America and the harsh reaction of their homes fans clearly affected Lionel Messi and his performance in their 0-0 draw against Colombia. Because when the rest of the team is playing like excrement, Messi can't be expected to do it all himself. Yet, far too many supporters expect just that. And now, his father, Jorge, has gone on Argentine radio to confirm that Lionel is not enjoying his football as much as he usually does.
"Lionel is struggling with this situation. He can't understand where it has come from. But the people are free to opine what they wish," Jorge told Radio 10.
"What most irritates him though is the press, who create situations that nobody is expecting. They throw gasoline on the fire. The Argentine press can criticise, that is logical when Argentina play badly - but they should try and take better care of their team".
The press throwing gasoline on the fire? Who could have seen that coming?
In addition to Leo's performance during matches, Argentine fans have also latched onto the fact that he didn't sing along with the national anthem before the match. His dad addressed that matter, too.
"I don't understand the envy. Besides that, there are people who form opinions and speak about personal business. That hurts and annoys. There are people who criticise Lionel for not singing the national anthem to all four corners of the stadium. That is up to the individual, how can you criticise him for that?!"
Well Jorge, it seems playing for your country just isn't enough these days -- footballers apparently have to sing for it, too. Maybe next the overly demanding public will insist that juggling be added to the mix as well.