Spain striker Diego Costa has insisted that Lionel Messi should be devoid of any criticism in an Argentina shirt as the South American nation are lucky to have him in their ranks.
The Barcelona forward has yet to taste success with his national side, having fallen short in four previous major finals, but Costa says that Argentina fans are fortunate to have a player of such quality available to select.
"You have to do an analysis in all aspects," he told reporters after the match at the Wanda Metropolitano. "The Argentines criticise Messi a lot, but you can tell that when Messi is not there, they are something else.
"A player like Messi should not be criticised. You should thank God that he's there. Messi must always be treated well. Even if he plays a bad game with the national team, having him on the field makes a difference."
Costa scored the opening goal of the evening against Argentina to make it six in six for Spain as a starter.