Lionel Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, defended his son against claims that his Argentina career should be classed a failure. The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has long been touted as the best player of all time but plenty of Argentines believe he will always rank behind Pele and Diego Maradona unless he tastes international glory. Argentina recently lost the Copa America final to Chile on penalties, 12 months after falling to Germany 1-0 in the World Cup final in Brazil. “Unfortunately, we live in a world of show and harsh criticism sells better than constructive criticism,” Messi Sr. said. Meanwhile, separate reports claim that the Barcelona striker is considering a sabbatical from national team duty.