• Monday, Jul 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:49 pm

Messi needs to step up

  • Published at 11:01 pm June 24th, 2019
Messi
Argentina's Lionel Messi in action during their Copa America match against Qatar in Gremio Sunday night AFP

In 2006, when the “La Albiceleste” combined for a record amount of passes to surely score the most aesthetically pleasing goal in the tournament, with Lionel Messi their hope for a new Diego Maradona not even involved in the goal, no one could think what was to foresee the Argentina team for the next 13 years

The state of the Argentina football team is very curious. 

In 2006, when the “La Albiceleste” combined for a record amount of passes to surely score the most aesthetically pleasing goal in the tournament, with Lionel Messi their hope for a new Diego Maradona not even involved in the goal, no one could think what was to foresee the Argentina team for the next 13 years.

Fast Forward 13 years to today and the state of Argentina football is perhaps at its worst from a talent perspective.

The Sky Blues are barely good enough to string together four passes and are hopelessly dependent on miraculous individual moments from their talisman, Messi and Sergio Aguero. 

The widely perceived “Goat” of football, Messi has not been able to inspire his haphazard team mates into achieving the very basics needed for a team of Argentina’s historic caliber. 

He seems to be lost in the middle of it all. 

Defeated and waiting to accept the inevitable. 

There is no denying that he is the greatest footballer on earth, a title he shares with Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and perhaps given his natural talent and ability, Messi is the greatest footballer the earth has ever seen. 

Fans jokingly refer to Messi as an “Alien” because of his remarkable ability to dribble past umpteen amount of defenders, and score seemingly miraculous goals on a weekly basis.

In Argentina though, it’s a different story. 

Argentina have had their golden generation come through, and unfortunately for the fans of the La Albiceleste come up short on three different occasions as runners-up by the skin of their teeth in delivering the elusive Copa trophy or even a couple of onevone misses away from lifting the big golden “World Cup” trophy. 

Their golden generation was fronted by Messi who delivered for the most part, recreating at times his natural Barcelona form, and driving through and taking the team to the finals. 

Despite having a great amount of “attacking talent” in the golden generation, Argentina were never a complete team, and always dependent on individuals, rather than the team, to pull through. 

The defense was martialed by the legendary Javier Mascherano, and with age catching up to it, the defense now is in complete shambles. 

Messi’s influence is diminishing because there is no capable Argentina midfielder good enough to combine with the Rosario lad. 

His teammate Angel di Maria is in his 30s and is fast declining from the great player he once was. 

This brings us to perhaps the only other generational talent that Argentina have in their team and that is Paulo Dybala. 

The Argentine team’s coaching staff has inexplicably not found a way to have Messi on the same field as Dybala, often terming excuses through the media such as “they are too similar” when it’s a known fact in football that two great players regardless of position can make it work.

The other big problem, and perhaps the main problem, is the Argentina Football Association. 

Going back several years, they are known for making dubious decisions and avoiding hiring big name coaches. 

They are lost in translation and in terms of deciding what their football philosophy should be. 

They are also afraid of or unwilling to spend money to make improvements required to bring Argentina to an acceptable level of performance. 

Whatever the main issue is, Argentina are in need of a Messi miracle and perhaps the rest of the team to pull together and do the basics properly.

They beat Qatar and qualified for the next stage.

Argentina  need to find some form of identify and platform to allow the “Goat” of football to take them to their first trophy since winning gold in the Olympics in 2008.