Xavi Hernandez says criticisms of Lionel Messi's form for Argentina are "exaggerated" after the World Player of the Year's poor showing at the Copa America.
Messi's Barcelona teammate dismissed claims the Argentina forward cannot operate without his presence in midfield, saying "like all football players, Messi depends on the collective (and) we are lucky to have an extraordinary collective."
Messi, who scored 53 goals for Barcelona last season, failed to score for his country for the second straight major championship as Argentina exited the South American championship in the quarter-finals on home soil. He was also scoreless at last year's World Cup.
Xavi says "it's easy to blame the best" for such a result.