Maradona's former fitness coach Fernando Signorini has defended the 31-year-old, even going as far as to wish he had turned out for Spain and earned the World Cup medal most feel he deserves.
"I wish he had taken Spanish nationality and he would already be a world champion," Signorini told Radio Villa Trinidad.
"But they'd say that he was selling out his homeland for not wanting to play with the national team.
"Messi has given up a lot of privileges.
"He doesn't have to return to the Argentina team, nor does he have to go back to Newell's Old Boys.
"Sadly for all those who admire him, he cannot keep paying the high price of ruthless criticism, as they say he is cold, that he doesn't sing the anthem and that he doesn't feel the shirt.
"I think the footballing atmosphere doesn't deserve Messi."