OGN writer/Juan Arango from our SimplyFutbol site

One can make the case that never in the history of football has a player had the amount of pressure that Lio Messi has on his shoulders right now.
It’s hard to say that it’s easy for a 22-year-old to not only start to come into his peak years, but also be at the verge of reaching Mount Olympus status and at the same time carry the fears, angst, and hopes and dreams of a football-rabid nation on his shoulders.   He is the barren of all 40 million Argentines’ hopes of this World Cup being the place where they end 24 years of heartbreaking exits for the Albiceleste.
In Argentina, the expectations of what Lio Messi can do and has to do are in some cases disproportionate.  He can dominate a game, I really don’t have to go into specifics on that one as his body of work says more than any amalgamation of words that I can conjure up.
Not even Pelé and Maradona had such a high degree of expectations that they had to deal with in their respective virtuoso performances of 1970 and 1986.
Ok, given Messi’s teammates might be better than Diego’s supporting cast, especially up front; at the same time they will probably never reach the level of Rivelino, Tostão, Jairzinho, and the rest of that cast of Pelé’s great Canarinha side.
The big question mark in all of this is how he will fit in with the team, better yet… how the team will fit with him. This is the biggest question mark.  Where is he going to play?  Where is he going to have to move towards?  How will his teammates move around?  Will his teammates clean up areas for him?
These are questions constantly being asked obviously because the bar has been set so high, for better or worse, by Messi himself.  Seeing him do what he did the past two seasons, people don’t know what is coming up next.   That’s why in many circles there is this love-hate relationship with “La Pulga“.   People want him to do what he does with Barca.

The reality of it all is that Verón and Di María do not have the movement and ability of Iniesta and Xavi.  It sounds almost unfair to say something like that because Di María was just outstanding in Benfica’s run to the Portuguese league title.  Real Madrid want him for a reason.  The same goes for Tevez, Agüero, Higuaín, Milito, Mascherano, Zanetti and Cambiasso (oops, my bad they aren’t on the team… Why? I STILL don’t know). His national team companions have a different dynamic compared to what he plays with at Barca.   The key will be how to synergize all of this talent and have them meet halfway.  I’m sure that’s a problem that ANY coach in the world would like to have.

Verón is just super solid in every aspect of the game and has been the best player in South America the past two years.  He is the only player in this World Cup that will be able to relate to Messi to a degree.  It was just eight years ago, when Verón was going to be the star of Japan/Korea and lead prohibited favorite Argentina to their third title only to see them get dumped in the group stage.

One thing is for sure, if Argentina do not succeed, definitely blame the coach for not bringing in the players that should have been there as well as implementing the proper concept.
Who am I kidding?
The reality in the eyes of the fans will be that it was Messi’s fault. He does not give his all to the national team because he feels “more identified” with Barcelona and that he “is Catalan” and no longer an “Argentine”.   They will also factor in the fact that the jersey was “too much for him”.  The usual line of garbage that you heard when things don’t go their way.
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    d10s existe; although diego isnt the best coach, although theres no such guys as milito we belive in our second title… vamos albicelestes…

    our views on group B and others at http://www.iberobet.pl

  2. Anonymous says:

    or third even ;-) sorry, im drunk ;-)

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