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Gabriel Batistuta: 'Argentina have not adapted to Lionel Messi'

Batistuta: 'Argentina must adapt to Messi'
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Former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta believes that Barcelona have adapted to Lionel Messi better than his country, and so have yielded more reward.

Former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta said that he believes Lionel Messi has enjoyed more success with Barcelona than his national team due to his club adapting to his style of football.

Messi has established himself as one of the greatest footballers in history during his time at Camp Nou, helping Barcelona to four Champions League titles, eight La Liga crowns and five Copas del Rey in addition to a plethora of individual honours.

The only honour Messi has won for Argentina came at the 2008 Olympics, though, and Batistuta believes that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is better set up to succeed at club level.

When asked why Messi is better in La Liga, Batistuta told Marca: "Basically because Barcelona have adapted to his way of playing.

"Players like Ronaldinho, Xavi, Neymar and others have come and gone but nothing has changed. The same with the coaches as they all look for the best team to play around him.

"At the same time it is not as easy to play Brazil or Germany as it is to face Eibar. Everything is more complicated with the national team."

Despite Messi's relative lack of success for his country, the 30-year-old is still Argentina's leading goalscorer of all time and has appeared in the finals of the World Cup and Copa America at international level.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina1671033
JapanJapan154625
United StatesUnited States14161141
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia912930
AustraliaAustralia921122
Great BritainGreat Britain58821
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

FOOTBALL
· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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