It is safe to say that the little Argentinian from Rosario is better known for his club achievements for Barcelona, than he is for his contribution for the Argentina national team - but can Lionel Messi be the match in the fire of Argentina’s success?
A lot of people are putting the hopes of Argentina’s success on the captain’s shoulders, and some of this is fair, but it takes a team to win a World Cup - not an individual - and Leo will be needing all the help he needs from his teammates.
However, help is there. Argentina possess a dressing room of superstars, with huge names like Angel Di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi, and Javier Pastore supplying him, and Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero to help him up front.
Argentina aren't lacking in defensive options either, having Messi's Barcelona teammate Javier Mascherano, Fabricio Coloccini, Ezequiel Garay, and Hugo Campagnaro forming the defensive wall.
Messi possesses the ability to dribble past players like they are not there, which in the modern game is a invaluable ability. This paired up with his vision and passing ability allows him to not only dribble into goal scoring abilities, but also open up the space for his teammates to score.
Simply his presence on the pitch allows other players space as opposition defenders and even midfielders are drawn to him as he is such a threat.
Statistics are sometimes a players best friend, and in other times their worst enemy, and for Messi’s international career, the statistics are against him - especially in the World Cup.
He has only scored one World Cup goal for Argentina, which is awful for the player that he is, but the last World Cup was three years ago, when he was just 22. Since then he has scored 181 goals in 161 La Liga games for Barcelona, which is outstanding, so I believe he can keep his goalscoring ability, and carry it on to Brazil next year, proving his critics wrong.
Finally, many people believe that to become the ‘best player ever’, Messi needs to win a World Cup, because he has won everything else available to him, and he has overtaken Diego Maradona and Hernan Crespo in the Argentina scoring records as he stands with a very impressive 38 goals, 18 away from matching the record held by Gabriel Batistuta - and he has potentially 10 years left in his international career.
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