Durban: Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque
dubbed Argentine star Lionel Messi one of his players of the
World Cup - even though the South Americans were crushed in
the quarter-finals by Germany.
"Messi showed what a fine player he is, but for an
individual to shine more then that has to go hand in hand with
collective success," Del Bosque told a press conference ahead
of today`s semi-final with the Germans in Durban.
"He was one of the players of the tournament though he
remained a little hidden by the situation of his team."
Messi, who also earned praise from Spanish midfielder and
Barcelona teammate Anders Iniesta, often was forced too deep
against the Germans and found himself running into a brick
wall once he entered the dangerzone while Argentina, despite
their individual qualities, failed in the quarter-final
properly to gel as a team.
"I always thought Leo did well. It`s hard for a player as
good as he is to play badly," said Iniesta.
"I thought he did well - he didn`t have the luck to score
but he was always at the hub of Argentine play."
"I am not his coach and I don`t know what he asked of him
- I only know that it`s always a delight to watch him play,"