Lionel Messi: Incredible montage shows Argentina star's 2014 World Cup highlights

p1evcjemrhv6r1mc61r5b1vaa16i3b.jpg

The fact Lionel Messi hasn't won a major international tournament has always been used as a stick with which to beat him.

Whereas Cristiano Ronaldo put that particular burden to bed with Portugal at Euro 2016, Messi is still searching for a World Cup or Copa America winners' medal. 

On a handful of occasions, he has come agonisingly close. 

In 2014, Argentina reached the World Cup final, only to lose to Mario Gotze's winner in extra time as Germany were crowned champions.

Then in 2015 and 2016, the Albiceleste suffered consecutive defeats to Chile. Messi was so upset by the latter that he briefly retired from the international stage, only to reverse his decision. 

There's no denying the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has been pained by his country's shortcomings. 

The 2014 World Cup was their best short at glory, but the only trophy the forward got his hands on after the final in Rio de Janeiro was the Golden Ball for Player of the Tournament. 

Even that was contentious - Sepp Blatter said he was "surprised" the accolade had been given to him, while the late, great Diego Maradona said the decision to award Messi had been taken by "marketing people" and that it was "unfair. 

The Barcelona star had scored four goals in the group stages and then set up the winner in the last-16 against Switzerland. 

Messi couldn't inspire Argentina to a more emphatic win in the semi-final, which they drew 0-0 with the Netherlands before going through on penalties. 

The defining moment, sadly, proved to be his miss in the final, when he was put through on goal by Lucas Biglia. 

So opinion is divided on how spectacular his individual performances out in Brazil were, but a video of his highlights from that tournament has started to go viral and it might settle the debate once and for all.

Entitled 'Lionel Messi, World Cup 2014 - one of the best individual campaigns in football history', it's a glorious montage of the genius at work terrorising defenders with pace and footwork.

Germany may have been worthy winners, but it will go down as a travesty if Messi retires without proper recognition of his contributions for Argentina.

In the Messi v Maradona debate, the latter often comes out on top because he led his side to the Jules Rimet in 1986. 

Qatar 2022 will almost certainly be his successor's last chance.

News Now - Sport News