Former striker Gabriel Batistuta said Gonzalo Higuain is mistreated in Argentina following his international retirement.
Higuain called time on his Argentina career on Thursday, hitting back at critics who only highlighted his costly misses in three successive tournament finals.
The 75-time international, who scored 31 goals to rank sixth all-time, spurned opportunities in the 2014 World Cup final as well as the 2015 and 2016 Copa America deciders.
Batistuta – Argentina's second highest scorer behind Lionel Messi – leapt to the defence of the maligned 31-year-old.
"It seems to me he's been a great striker," Batistuta said of Higuain, who is on loan at Chelsea from Juventus. "Respected all over the world. And treated in a bad way in Argentina.
"We were talking about the fact that strikers maybe miss 200 goals, but then make one, two or three goals in the right moments, and so they are always remembered for those few ones they scored, compared to the ones they failed.
"And I said: 'there's also the opposite'. Higuain scored 200 goals, and missed three at the wrong time; and in Argentina, unfortunately, he is remembered for that.
"When he is, instead, a great striker, one of the best we've seen in the last years on a global scale."