Messi, despite reaching finals, couldn’t have shown the same numbers as in Barcelona.
Few says he doesn’t have the same intensity when playing for his country.
But the main difference is the game models of the teams, where clearly Barcelona has a way of playing that stands out him and his skills, what does not happen that much with Argentina.
Lets start showing an iconic moment of the Copa América Centenário 2016, where Messi is surrounded by Chile’s players:
Messi has the ability to attract opponents in the zone around the ball, but the way his teams reacts are different.
While in Argentina the zones near the point where Messi is surrounded are not occupied or well used by his team mates, as highlighted in blue below:
In Barcelona these spaces are always occupied by his team mates, creating several passing option for Messi, then they can either shoot or send it back to Messi, who usually after passing, breaks into the box to get crosses or passes and then shoot: