The former striker has defended his ex-international team-mate over criticism received after the Champions League clash with Real Madrid

Former Argentina striker Sergio Aguero has lashed out at critics of his old international team-mate Lionel Messi, calling those who denigrate the PSG forwards performances “a**holes”.

Mauricio Pochettinos side beat Real Madrid 1-0 in their Champions League round of 16 first-leg meeting although Messi came in for criticism after missing a penalty and proving generally ineffective in attack.

Aguero has, however, defended Messi and said that the French media has it in for the seven-time Ballon dOr winner.

Speaking on his Twitch channel, Aguero said: “Leo played well, he broke lines. Im not saying that because hes a friend, but because he played hard. He was good and very active.

“In France, magazines and newspapers killed him. They are a**holes. I had an interview scheduled with a French magazine, but I said: No, because I support Leo Messi. Period. So goodbye, see you soon. Now Im angry.”

The main talking point from Messis performance against Real Madrid was his penalty miss, with Thibaut Courtois diving to his left to keep out the Argentine in the 61st minute.

It fell to Mbappe to dig Messi out by scoring the winner in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, and the former Barcelona superstar was hugely criticised as a result.

Indeed, French newspaper LEquipe scored Messi three out of 10 in their player ratings, while pundits and commentators also put the boot in, with former PSG forward Jerome Rothen going as far as saying Messi offers the Ligue 1 leaders “nothing”.

He told RMC Sport: “Of course, in terms of merchandising, its wonderful to have attracted Leo Messi. People come to see Messi play at PSG. But you have to recognise that in a sporting context, he brings nothing to PSG.

“The biggest problem is that this was a great match, thats where we expect the great players to perform and tonight it was more of a drag than anything else.

“There are technical errors, losses of the ball, the missed penalty – but it can happen to anyone. Its, above all, his behaviour. He looks down at his boots, it looks like hes not happy.”

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