LIONEL MESSI has been accused of "spoiling" Barcelona due to his lack of effort on the field.
Former Argentine keeper Hugo Gatti remarkably claimed the Nou Camp hero is no longer a "phenomenon" anymore.
Gatti told El Chiringuito: “I don't care if they criticise me in Argentina.
"I'm very Argentinian and Messi is a phenomenon, but he's not a phenomenon now.
“They treat him wrong because they big him up and big him up and treat him wrong. He gets used to it and walks more on the pitch. He has to be better.
“Cristiano [Ronaldo] and him are the two best. Messi has to be better, he's got used to playing at a weary rhythm, walking and those that know football think the same. Take off, kid. You have to play well.
“When there's a player like Messi, like it was with Maradona and Pele, and his team-mates always give the ball to him to win the game.
I'm very Argentinian and Messi is a phenomenon, but he's not a phenomenon now.
“They spoil the team and they don't put everything they have into it. The team get used to giving him the ball and not anyone else.”
Despite Gatti's claim that Barca team-mates depend too much on Messi, the Argentine has scored 23 goals in 30 appearances as well as providing 16 assists this season.
He is the club's all time top scorer with 626 goals to date and is chasing Xavi's record of most appearances with the Spaniard leading Messi with 767 games played.
Messi picked up a record sixth Ballon d'Or last year but questions over his Barca future emerged with his contract expiring next summer.
The 32-year-old also had a public falling out with former team-mate and now Nou Camp director of football Eric Abidal.
Messi was not happy with how the ex-defender questioned the current crop of Barca stars and demanded Abidal named the players he was referring to instead of tarnishing others' reputations.
It caused unrest in the Nou Camp hierarchy, as forward has a stipulation in his contract that can allow him to walk out of the club for free at the end of any season.
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