Lionel Messi's failure to win the World Cup does not affect his status as an all-time great, says coach Alejandro Sabella.
Messi was bidding to emulate compatriot Diego Maradona by inspiring Argentina to victory in the final in Rio de Janeiro, but Germany prevailed 1-0.
"It is a very demanding tournament and it is drains everyone physically. He is already among the greatest of all time," Sabella said.
Despite Argentina's defeat, Messi was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's outstanding player.
"I think yes he deserved it, because he played a great World Cup," said the Argentina coach.
"He was a fundamental factor for where we ended up. It was thoroughly deserved."