In football, some colours are stronger than others - but sometimes, history is even stronger than colours. That is the case with Lionel Messi, Barcelona's superstar but while playing for the Argentine national team he looks like an ordinary player.
For many people, he should be treated as he is at Barcelona. Molly coddled and with the team moulded to play around him. For other people, Messi, as Diego Maradona did, has the task of leading the Argentine national team to nothing less than glory. However Lionel Messi is not Maradona and he definitely does not have his personality. Detractors claim that Messi has won everything but the World Cup, which is said to be the ultimate goal for a professional footballer.
Argentina and Bolivia opened the Copa America and the entire world was expecting to see Lionel Messi at his best, but he never appeared. Batista's team could’ve lost the match, and the cold in the Unico's Stadium caught Messi on another off day. If it was difficult to beat Bolivia, what would’ve happened if the rival were Brazil or Uruguay?
Today, the newspapers are asking why Messi isn't the same in an Argentine shirt? Perhaps the problem is not Messi. Perhaps the problem is that the team does not suit Messi because it is overloaded with stars. As so happens when there are a lot of stars in a football team, they crash and burn.
"We need calm. We must win both games we have left.” said Messi after finishing the game.
"We need calm. We must win both games we have left.” said Messi after the game. Sergio Aguero instead changed the face of the game. He scored the equaliser and was the clear attacking difference. The Atletico Madrid player wants to make the headlines, although it is unimaginable that Messi will be sent to the bench.
It is noteworthy that the only applause generated by Messi from Argentine fans on the night wasn’t down to his football. It was prompted by a heated verbal exchange with the Bolivian Ronald Raldes.
As Bolivia celebrated the draw, Argentina were left to ask questions of the coach and the team. Especially Messi, the best player in the world today.
It's now up to Messi to prove himself . If he can ignore what is being said off the field, and focus on doing his best - the world will see the real Messi play for the national team. There is nowhere better for him to show his best than in America's Cup, which began yesterday in Argentina. Here he can prove himself in preparation for Brazil 2014.
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