[REACTION] This was supposed to be the World Cup at which Lionel Messi would prove his critics wrong. He would duplicate the success with Argentina he has had with Barcelona. But the 23-year-old star was left in tears after Argentina fell to Germany, 4-0, in Saturday's quarterfinals. He was not a factor in the game and finished the tournament without scoring a goal in five games.
Messi had played well in Argentina's first four games, all wins, but was unable to stamp his authority on the tournament.
Argentina coach Diego Maradona, to whom Messi has often been compared, supported his star.
“To see Messi cry in the locker room, whoever says that he doesn’t feel pride for his shirt is stupid,” Maradona said.
The loss ended the possibility of Messi facing his Barcelona teammates on the Spanish national team in the semifinals.
Messi's success with Barcelona is largely due to the better supporting cast he has at the Catalan club than on the Argentine national team.
Germany isolated Messi in midfield and he was never a factor in the quarterfinal game.
Messi finished with no goals on 30 shots, the second most of any player in the tournament.
33 Asamoah Gyan, Ghana
30 Lionel Messi, Argentina
23 David Villa, Spain
21 Lukas Podolski, Germany
21 Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
20 Park Chu Young South Korea
20 Clint Dempsey, USA
20 Wesley Sneijder, Netherlands
20 Diego Forlan, Uruguay
20 Luis Suarez, Uruguay