Former Argentina international Hugo Gatti says Barca star Lionel Messi has to be better.

Former Argentina goalkeeper Gatti has taken aim at Messi.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona has got to do more on the pitch, says Argentina legend Gatti [Getty]
Lionel Messi of Barcelona has got to do more on the pitch, says Argentina legend Gatti [Getty]

Hugo Gatti has criticised Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi, saying the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is no longer the player he once was.

The Barca captain has not scored in six of his last seven matches and also failed to impress in the 2-0 El Clasico defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid last weekend.

However, former Argentina shotstopper Gatti says Messi, who has scored 18 LaLiga goals and 23 across all competitions for Barca this season, ‘is not phenomenon’ at the moment.

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"I don't care if they criticise me in Argentina," Gatti said on El Chiringuito. "I'm very Argentinian and Messi is a phenomenon, but he's not a phenomenon now.

"They treat him wrong because they big him up and big him up and treat him wrong. He gets used to it and walks more on the pitch. He has to be better.

"Cristiano [Ronaldo] and him are the two best. Messi has to be better, he's got used to playing at a weary rhythm, walking and those that know football think the same.

"Take off, kid. You have to play well. When there's a player like Messi, like it was with Maradona and Pele, and his team-mates always give the ball to him to win the game.

"They spoil the team and they don't put everything they have into it. The team get used to giving him the ball and not anyone else."

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