Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez..

Xavi has made a controversial claim about Lionel Messi at Barcelona

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Lionel Messi is practically a living God at Barcelona and for good reason at that.

Rising through the ranks at La Masia, the Argentine is the all time top goal scorer of his club, country and league. The 30-year-old has won practically every trophy available to him and has no less than five Ballon d'Or titles nestling in his trophy cabinet.

Furthermore, Messi is showing little sign of stagnating and has entered the 2017-18 campaign with the bit between his teeth. Reunited with his old false nine position, Barcelona's star man has already amassed 12 goals in just nine games.

The one thing that seems destined to evade Messi's star-studded career is success on the international stage, however.

The 2014 World Cup looked to offer the final piece to the puzzle but Argentina slumped to defeat against Germany in the climax, despite their captain and star man scooping the Golden Ball.

Since then, two consecutive Copa America titles have evaded his grasp with one defeat even provoking a brief international retirement. 

It begs the questions as to how Messi would have faired had he played for the likes of Germany and Italy or his adopted nation of Spain. 

All that considered, you would think the burden of relentless international shortcomings would take its toll on a player already worked across numerous competitions at Barça. One man who can certainly vouch for that is Xavi.

Juventus v FC Barcelona  - UEFA Champions League Final

Now lapping up retirement in Qatar, the Spaniard spent a decade playing alongside Messi and believes the Argentine simply didn't enjoy playing for Argentina. The same can be said of compatriot Javier Mascherano, too.

Speaking to TyC Sports, Xavi explained:"Argentina did not have the luck that is needed for a title to be achieved.

"They would have to be more united in order to achieve an important trophy.

"When I was in Barcelona, I got the feeling that [Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano] did not enjoy playing with their national team."

It's certainly a controversial claim to pin on Messi, that's for sure. 

Moreover, he may never get the chance to truly enjoy international football with Argentina struggling to quality for what would likely be his final ever World Cup. Chile are just one point away from depriving Messi and co. of their precarious play-off place.

“I can’t imagine a World Cup without Messi,” the former Spanish international added.

Germany v Argentina: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final

“The South American qualifiers are like a European tournament, I am sure they will qualify and they will be one of the candidates to win the trophy. Messi has great teammates.

On Xavi's account, though, failing to qualify might simply save him a chore.

Do you think Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time? Have your say in the comments section below.

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