Argentina played six times without Messi to close 2018, including friendly wins over Guatemala, Iraq and two wins over Mexico.
"Messi could be cloned with current techniques", he told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
"He did the same things he does today but 20 years younger because he was born a genius".
A clone of the Barcelona superstar would arrive as a baby with the same potential as one of the greatest players ever. Others are educational, environmental.
"Messi isn't who he is only because of his genes, but because of everything he has lived through, his education, his stay in La Masia, the treatment he received".
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"Genetics give us potential, then to fulfil it, it's our own work".
Messi has netted 39 goals in 36 games in all competitions for the Blaugrana, who are still alive in their chase for a treble this season.
Argentina's Lionel Messi returned to global duty for the first time since the World Cup on Friday but it was a disappointing night for the forward as his side lost 3-1 to Venezuela in a friendly in Madrid.
"I see him with important emotional fatigue between the Champions League and the national team".
Now, he's ready to return to the side ahead of this summer's Copa America where he will hope to inspire Argentina to their first continental triumph since 1993.