The Uruguayan centre-half believes the Barcelona superstar faces much stiffer opposition with his national team than he does in the Primera Division
The two clashed in last month’s Copa America, as Argentina saw off Uruguay 1-0 in the group stage before eventually going down on penalties to Chile in the final.
Messi struggled to replicate his sparkling club form in Chile and Godin says that Messi was simply facing better defenders than he’s used to coming across in the Primera Division.
“It’s different in South America. There they mark him a lot more,” Godin told Uruguay television Teledoce.
“Sometimes we mess around, among teammates, and we say: In Spain before playing the games they take a photo with him, a little joke, but it’s the truth.
“People compete a lot more [in South America] and they mark him a lot tighter as well.”
The Atleti stopper went on to explain that he believes a differing styles of Barca and Argentina is the most likely reason for the difference in Messi’s play for club and country.
“[With Argentina] he has to come deeper and he has to break through two lines of players instead of just one, so it is more complicated for him,” Godin said.
“The pitches are different, too. It’s an accumulation of things that mean Messi’s numbers with Barca don’t translate to the national team.”