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Barack Obama on Lionel Messi, Argentina: Even Geniuses Can't Do it All Alone

Barack Obama imparted some expert advice to Argentina and its supporters.

Former United States president Barack Obama has offered Lionel Messi and Argentina some expert advice ahead of next month's Copa America.

The 46th edition of South America's elite football tournament will pit the superstar against the likes of Brazil and reigning champions Chile, as Argentina bids to win its first Copa America title since 1993.

Despite arguably boasting the competition's best player, Argentina has come unstuck in both of the last finals, losing to Chile on penalties in 2015 and 2016. Obama served as the United States' president from 2009 to 2017, and claimed unity will be key for Lionel Scaloni's side as it kicks off this year's tournament against Colombia on June 15.

"Even people that we consider geniuses work with other people in order to develop their style," Obama said at the EXMA Conference in Colombia.

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"In Argentina, even though Messi is wonderful, they have problems winning the World Cup. My advice to young people is that we have to recognize very few people achieve great things on their own."

Argentina was drawn into Group B, alongside Colombia, Paraguay and guest nation Qatar for the showpiece event in Brazil, with many supporters of La Albiceleste pinning their hopes of glory on their talisman forward.

The Barcelona No. 10 is heralded among the football world as one of the greatest players ever to have lived, with many considering the 31-year-old a 'God' among men after scoring 614 career goals in just 719 appearances. Such claims were dispelled by Pope Francis last month, however, who stated there can only be one God, no matter how otherworldly Messi's talents may be.

"In theory, it is sacrilege... but I don't believe it," he said. "Of course, he is very good, but he isn't God."