A man kisses a statue of Messi shortly after it was unveiled in Buenos Aires.
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Like neurotic parents, Argentines swung from criticism to unconditional love for their star footballer Lionel Messi this week, providing the football-mad nation's many therapists with rich material for psychoanalysis.Fans' frustration at the superstar's missed penalty in Sunday's defeat to Chile in the Copa America Centenario soon gave way to panic as he vowed to quit the national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup.To judge by the past criticism Messi has received, having a player widely rated as the best in the world is not enough for Argentines.Andres Rascovsky, ex-president of the Argentine Psychoanalytical Association, links the country's intense sporting passions to its dirty politics.The nation's relationship with Messi is different, however.Maradona himself recently accused Messi of having "no personality".
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