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Lionel Messi’s claim to ultimate greatness is being tarnished by Argentina form


Another final and another defeat for Lionel Messi spelt a somewhat anti-climax to his season, which has been extraordinary. When Alexis Sanchez scored the most audacious penalty kick to confirm Chile as the Copa America winners, Messi was left to rue another final with Argentina where he has been on the losing side.

Almost a year to the day Messi cut a lone figure in Brazil where Argentina had been beaten by Germany in the World Cup final. Seven years prior it was the same story when again Argentina were runners up in the Copa Amercia. However, at that point in Messi’s career he had just turned 20 and had many tournaments to put that stat right.

But in losing this match the question marks will remain over Messi’s international career. The great man has only shown in small bursts what he does for Barcelona week in and week out. Fans will still be divided as to his greatness though, and comparisons with fellow countryman Diego Maradona will rage on. Maradona was able to lift his nation, infamously winning the World Cup in 1986 and returning for another final where they narrowly lost to the Germans in 1990.

It’s not just the fact though that Messi isn’t winning with Argentina, critics can also point that Messi isn’t the same player. Last Saturday night the greatest player on the planet for whatever reason was not able to create a solidarity magic moment against Chile. A moment that would have settled the match.

Messi by and large had a very average tournament, scoring just one goal in the group games, although his play was generally unselfish and he did set up another three goals.

At the World Cup last year it was much of the same from him. Cutting a frustrated figure, it would be easy to think that Messi doesn’t enjoy the game when watching him play for La Albiceleste.

But perhaps the answer is simple and Messi is simply exhausted. He played 57 games for Barcelona last season and of course won everything there was to win with the club. He put in dazzling performances and formed an incredible partnership alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez.

But being jaded simply won’t cut with fans and historians and Messi’s time is running out on the international stage.

Luckily for Messi he doesn’t have to wait another four years for the Copa America to roll around. Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the tournament, which means a special edition of the competition will be played.

So Messi has at a guess two more Copa America’s and two World Cups to put his record straight with Argentina. But the question remains will Messi ever be able to reproduce his devastating form for club on a consistent basis with his national team? We could know the answer as soon as next summer.


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  1. David Bronstein

    July 7, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    It’s ashame that you come to the conclusion that this is a Messi V Ronaldo article, it isn’t. Messi is the best player on the planet- perhaps one of the greats of all time. This article is about Messi not Ronaldo. Every article on Messi does not require Ronaldo to be mentioned.

  2. seth israel

    July 7, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t normally comment to Messie v CR#7 but there are some valid points seven game tournament with players you play with once a year is no comparison with Messie playing together with a set core of players with Barcelona for year.

    I don’t know how Messie and CR#7 international fate will end up as but both players should treated the same if your going to write about Messie failure and not include Cristano Ranaldo #7 failures at international level than your tabloid journalism doesn’t hold water but if you were to compare both of them and not pick one over the other than I can respect that.

  3. Alex Gago

    July 6, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I am utterly amazed when I read tabloid soccer journalism here. First, no one mention CR#7 lack of World Cup performance. In fact Ronaldo has never won an international championship for Portugal, right? The fact is that the talent at an International level of soccer is far greater than playing in any league in Europe. In fact their is only one player who can be remembered for winning international championship and club championships and that is Pele.

    • jtm371

      July 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Beckenbaur! 🙂

      • jtm371

        July 6, 2015 at 10:53 pm

        Beckenbauer sp check 🙁

    • Jim

      July 7, 2015 at 2:20 am

      Wow the ignorance in that comment.
      People regard the world cup as a requirement for being great. Winning trophies doesn’t mean you’re better than another player.
      Ryan Giggs has 12 league titles more than double that of Cristiano Ronaldo yet Ronaldo is a far better player. Pirlo and Totti both have world cups yet neither are in the same breath as Messi.
      The world cup is a 7 game tournament. Anyone can get up for 7 games. When Messi made Boateng fall on his backside wasn’t that enough, what about the game where he tore apart Man City and was the best player on the pitch without scoring, his 3 assists in the semifinal against Paraguay, etc.
      You make it seem as if Pele played with Bebe and 9 amateurs and not the likes of Garrincha or Jarzinho.
      I’ve seen Lionel Messi do things no other player has done on the ball. He’s won the champions league 3 times and has scored in 2/3 finals, and he broke the FIFA record for most goals in a calendar year, scored in 21 straight la liga games, or does that all not matter because he doesn’t play as well for Argentina at times?
      The International game isn’t at the level the club game is. The only world class national sides are Germany, Argentina(They are only in here by virtue of having an attack that is ridiculously talented with depth and I’d still say Spain they have an incredible upcoming generation and have been written off far too early for Euro 2016.
      Could anyone besides those nations put up a threat against Real Madrid, Barcelona, or Bayern Munchen?
      I’ll pose you this question what if Messi failed in every final he’s been in for Barcelona and not score 50+ goals a season but he won the finals with Argentina would that make him great in your eyes?
      Personally I think it’s stupid people use a 7 game tournament to judge how good a guy who’s torn up every team he’s come up against. The excuses especially from the English media is that he’s just beating up on La Liga teams yet I’ve seen him rip Bayern to shreds recently, do the same to Real Madrid on countless occasions, beat up Arsenal, United, and City.
      Food for thought without Lionel Messi’s goals and assists Argentina don’t make it out of the group stage in the world cup. I wasn’t around for Pele but from what I’ve seen Messi is a better player. He can dribble past anyone and at this point arguing about a Copa and world cup when he’s been to the final in both competitions and was key on the road to getting there is just semantics. He’s won two trebles already.

      • Collen

        July 10, 2015 at 4:58 am

        Your comment is very biased. What you fail to see is that Messi only shines when he is backed by a galaxy o stars, he cannot do anything if he doesn’t have the great superstructure and backbone that is Barcelorna, any real good player would do great things with such a structure,but when he is being looked up to to carry a team he falls awfully short. The problem with Messi fans is that they are willing to excuse him all the time, but as someone once said , no matter how low you lower the bar, Messi will not be able to clear it. Being skilful and able to juggle the ball more than anyone is neither here nor there, there are some professional jugglers who cannot command a first team spot in the fifth tier league of any European country. Now the biggest myth and excuse for those who love Messi, club football is more competitive than international football, ie national team competions, this is laughable, why then is Messi reduced to a boy scout in these competitions

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