Belo Horizonte (Brazil): Lionel Messi doesn`t count Argentina among the best teams in the World Cup so far.
The Argentina captain said his team committed too many mistakes in its 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina, including starting the game with two attackers instead of three.
"I think the best teams in the in first games were the Netherlands and Germany," Messi said Monday. "But I think there are still teams that haven`t shown what they can do and it`s difficult to draw conclusions from a single match. I think as the tournament goes on they will improve."
The Netherlands stunned defending champion Spain 5-1 -- a result Messi said no one expected -- while Germany thrashed Cristiano Ronaldo`s Portugal 4-0 in their opening games.
Messi stopped short of criticizing coach Alejandro Sabella but said he hopes Argentina will stick with the three-man attack it used in the second half against Bosnia — even against stronger opponents.
"We are Argentina and I think we have to focus on ourselves and not on who we`re facing," Messi said. "Of course depending on the result of a game we can change to another system. But personally I think we need to look at ourselves first and not focus on the rival."
Sabella started the match with Messi as a one of two attackers in a 5-3-2 formation that the Barcelona star said left him and Sergio Aguero cut off from the game. Argentina played poorly and was lucky to be ahead 1-0 at half-time after an own-goal.
In the second half Sabella let Messi drop behind Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain in 4-3-3 formation, a switch that paid dividends as Messi scored a brilliant goal following a 1-2 with Higuain.
"That`s how we`re used to playing. That`s how we played in most of the friendlies and qualifiers," Messi said. Asked why he thought Sabella chose to start the game with a more cautious lineup, he said: "You have to ask Alejandro. He makes the decisions and decided that we should go out to play that way ... Maybe he was thinking he didn`t want to let the three points slip away."
Attacking midfielder Angel Di Maria said he also preferred the three-man attack.
"Playing with three up front is much easier. For Leo too, because he always has two players to pass to. And when I join up he has a third," Di Maria said after the match Sunday.
Sabella admitted his initial game plan didn`t work and that the half-time change allowed Messi to get more involved in the game.
Argentina plays Iran in its second match on Saturday.