Lionel Messi named 'the most underrated international player ever' in Twitter thread

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Lionel Messi is one of the greatest sportspeople in history and that will never be up for question.

However, those who don't believe Messi should be called the greatest player of all time often refer to his international career as proof that his time in the sport isn't as perfect as it might seem.

While Diego Maradona and Pele have a World Cup to their name and Cristiano Ronaldo won the European Championships, Messi doesn't have any major international titles on his record.

Messi's Argentina frustration

Messi came agonisingly close between 2014 and 2016 when he lost the World Cup final in extra-time, before coming up short in two consecutive Copa America climaxes vs Chile.

And now that the Barcelona superstar is 33 years old, you have to wonder whether he will indeed retire with merely a FIFA U-20 World Cup winners' medal and Olympic gold to his name.

But before we get so pessimistic as to take that for certain, let's play devil's advocate for a second and dig a little deeper into why Messi's international trophy cabinet is barren.

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Is Messi's international career underrated?

Right or wrong, the famous counterargument is that Messi has traditionally been let down by his teammates, which is a fair point when you look back at so many crucial games.

Sure, Messi might have missed a key one-on-one in the World Cup final and a penalty in the 2016 Copa America decider, but things could have been so much different with a better team around him.

Besides, let's face it, had Messi decided to take on full Spanish citizenship during his early days in Catalonia, he'd probably have a whole host of international medals to his name right now. 

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Thread on Messi's underrated achievements

And perhaps nothing has underlined quite how unlucky Messi has been with Argentina than an illuminating Twitter thread from @MessiCFi on his most underrated international achievements.

It underlines a number of records and stats that seem to be conveniently forgotten whenever his international career is assessed and it's wracked up 1,900 retweets for its efforts.

Check out the full thread for yourself down below:

GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

'Most underrated international player ever', you say.

For my money, Messi has still done an incredible job in an Argentina jersey - 70 goals in 138 caps should make that point alone - and can count himself incredibly unlucky to be trophyless.

The 2014 World Cup, in particular, affectively showed Messi throwing the kitchen sink game after game amongst an Argentina side that's, less face it, were pretty blunt and lop-sidedly defensive. 

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What I will say, however, in a statement that goes against all my love for Messi, I have to wonder whether Ronaldo would have been able to achieve more with a weaker team around him.

Even the greats can't inspire weak sides to the status of world champions, but I'd back Ronaldo to do it over Messi, even if I think the latter is technically the better player.

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