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Lionel Messi, is this time for Argentina?

The world cup count down has begun with digital clocks around all over Brazil marking the seconds remaining before kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Argentine manager Alejandro Sabella is expected to reveal his final squad within next few days. This agenda is dominating by a press fracas over the ‘people player’ Carlos Tevez and a worry due to Gonzalo Higuain’s recent injury.

Carlos Tevez or Lionel Messi?

lionel messi, argentina, tevez, argentina football team, argentina team
Lionel Messi in action—image via: en.wikipedia.org

Although ,Tevez has enjoyed a superlative season with Juventus, he has never been part of Sabella’s national project. It is indeed a fact that has become a bone of contention generating minor demonstrations and widespread emotional outburst in some circle.

lionel messi, argentina, tevez, argentina football team, argentina team
Carlos Tevez, in a mood of despire—-image via: www.flickr.com

The possible clash with Lionel Messi, if not personally in terms of position they occupy on the pitch, may be among the reasons why it is unlikely he will be included now. Messi is being hailed as the axis around which the squad must turn without having expressed himself at all on this subject. Whatever works for Messi is what works for Argentina.

Messi is the hope:

 The four times Ballon D’or winner, Lionel Messi, 26 is still a bit of an unknown quatity for his country. He may not be a natural leader, but his boy-next door demeanour and by now renowned economy of words hide the power behind his name. The fact is Lionel Messi has become the centre of expectation, whether he overtly executes his influence or simply by osmosis makes whoever happens to be the manager try out the system in which he appears more comfortable.

lionel messi, argentina, tevez, argentina football team, argentina team
Lionel Messi , the Hope—-image via: pt.wikipedia.org

For years the Argentine outcry was why Lionel Messi deliver with the nation as he did with Barcelona. Now even Barcelona is no longer deemed an adequate model to aspire to.

The history:

In 2002, under the leadership of Marcelo Bielsa, Arentina saw one of the quickest exits in memory with them failing to get past the group stage, the smoothest ride to World cup finals the country has ever known.

Since the last world cup victory in 1986, the quest for the right formula has evaded many managers. In 1978, Argentina’s first world cup victory was under the managerial nous of Cesar Luis Menotti. Menotti defended the beauty of an attacking game above everything. He dared leave the 17- year old Maradona out of the squad completely, feeling a solid team could work just as well with out a single genius.

Failing of the Greats:

The footballing discourse has not changed for long time since. The bi-valued approach is ever present, not just in terms of style but also in the culture. Pro-government and anti-government, Boca or River, touchy passes vs dirty antics,

 All approaches tried since, have failed to win the world cup. Jose Pekerman, Alfio Basile, Sergio Batista, Daniel Passarella and of course the God of Football himself, Maradona all failed to lighten the nation.

No more dispute please!

Perhaps it is time to stop focusing on indiviguals, whether Tevez and Messi can co exist in no 10s is less serious than whether a country so geared to rising little boys for international sale can start to produce some defenders as well as some attacking mid-fielders in the long run.

lionel messi, argentina, tevez, argentina football team, argentina team
Argentina football team in the last World Cup—-Image via: en.wikipedia.org

There will be a profound structural changes within the establishment which has remained in power for over three decades could well be afoot if Lionel Messi fails to deliver the actual world cup back to the Football Association.

Lets see what Lionel Messi brings for his supporters in this world cup.

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Argentina vs Iran: finally Lionel Messi becomes the ultimate hope for Argentina

Argentina vs Iran: finally Lionel Messi becomes the ultimate hope for Argentina, against Iran, world cup 2014, Brazil
Lionel Messi ; image credit www.telegraph.co.uk

Probably most of the people, especially Argentine fans all around the World, became a slight confused watching the Argentina vs Iran match, Saturday night. Unbelievably people saw Argentina’s desperately tight clash with Iran moved into injury time deadlocked with the score line 0-0. Suddenly the screen showed Lionel Messi slowly advancing on the implacable red defense. And once again, finally he had to be the ultimate hope for Argentina and frustrate his opponents.

The Iran supporters were already exploding in screams of delight. But at the end of the day they had to admit the inevitable, brilliant curling shot eluded Alireza Haghighi’s desperate dive. This was Lio’s second goal in 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil.

For once again, Lionel Messi’s individual brilliance had pulled Argentina out of their footballing anguish. A lot more thousands of supporters decked in the Albiceleste and refused to leave the spot. It seemed like, they just don’t want to miss a little moment from Mineirao stadium.

Mostly Argentina vs Iran match was quite a mediocre one for Alejandro Sabella‘s men. But the conclusion was more like a dream, especially after the starkly disappointing 90 minutes (without injury time).

It was clearly an ecstasy strike from the captain. The coach told the reporters from TYC sports,

“Having Messi, anything is possible”

But he also had to admit that the team performance did not really make him happy, as being desperate for glory from the Brazil world Cup.

Argentina vs Iran: As it happened

Mostly, Argentina’s starting tactics depend on two key factors. Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Segio Aguero and Angel Di Maria combine to fire a 4-3-3 setup that leans heavily on the counter attack. And the other one is to let the opponent to push forward, which leaves their holes exploited for the Argentines.

May be the resolute coach was not prepared enough for the upset. From the very beginning of the game, Iran set out to defend with up to eight or nine men in and around the box. They always picked their illustrious rival to come and get the win.

For a moment, it appeared like Argentina did not desire the victory. Each of their steps started to become labored and clumsy approaches. Although, Higuain looked the most likely to damage. But he must be unhappy seeing a one-on-one saved in the first half. And for most of the time Messi was starved of space. Which was enough for the Argentines to break down themselves.

Meanwhile, Aguero and Di Maria will have every reason to be disappointed with their performance in Argentina vs Iran match. None of their touches were creative or inventive to break open the opponent solid defense. Probably all of their possible passes went astray and the crosses flew over the heads all the time.

After a few more minutes in the Second half, Messi intervened with another majestic goal. But no result. Then it came for a situation, when Iran almost was taking on a victory, if not saved by Sergio Romero. Yes, of course, this kind of save can easily prove his critics wrong.

Think for moment!! Such a defeat could have precipitated a real crisis for the pre-World Cup favorites.

Now, two goals in two opening matches. Perhaps, Lio is trying to prove that he will not wilt under the pressure of a nation this time. But it is unfair to expect the spark in every games from one player, even from the Barcelona genius (Lionel Messi). They have to be cautious, as results cannot always revolve around the magic left foot of their captain. So it’s high time to find for plan B.

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Germany’s World Cup history against Argentina

Argentina booked their place in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, by defeating the Netherlands in the penalty shootout after 120 scoreless minutes on Wednesday. In Sunday’s historic clash Argentina’s will face the Giant Germany, who hammered the host Brazil in 7-1 victory.

Argentina vs Germany, THE HISTORY:

Argentina and Germany both have an extensive history in the World Cups. They have met 20 times in the past, but among them most notable are 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals meeting. Both of the finals are remembered as epic clashes in the World cup history.

The head-to-head:

With head-to-head nine wins and five draws, Argentina dominate the list, while Germany have won only six times. Despite of this there is an even goals balance (28 scored, 28 conceded) between these two giants.

The scenario is entirely different considering only competitive matches. In 2005 confederation cup the two sides drew scoring the result 2-2. The World Cup arena, they have fought six times. In that Germany won three times and twice they made the match draw. The Germans are commanding a record 11-5 goal difference with Argentina in the World Cup. In 1986 World Cup final, Argentina achieved their only World Cup win over Germany.

1986 World Cup Final:

In the final on 23th minutes Argentina was ahead with the goal from Jose Luis Brown. Jorge Valdano made the score 2-0 on 56 minutes. Then the ferocious Germany equalized the score when Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller netted 2 goals within seven minutes. On 81th minutes the score was 2-2.

argentina's world cup win, argentina vs germany,1986 world cup final
jorge burruchaga scoring the winning goal—–image via: futbol.about.com

It was a showdown between the Argentine Diego Maradona and the German Lother Matthaus. It was an epic battle for them while Matthaus seemed to have Maradona’s number throughout the match. With six minutes left on the watch, Jorge Burruchaga found Maradona’s assist to find the net and made the history for Argentina.

1990 World Cup Final:

Four years after the historic win in Maxico City, Argentina and West Germany met again in the World Cup final in Rome.

Argentine struggled throughout the tournament to reach the final. The luck was with them as they beat Yugoslavia in the quarterfinal and Italy in the semi on penalties. They entered the final with four players suspended.

It was a close game from the beginning. Then the drama started when the sub Pedro Monzon was sent off for Argentina on 65 minutes.

Then on 85 minutes the German striker Rudi Voller adjucted to have drawn a foul by Roberto Sensini in the penalty box. Andreas Brehme stepped to shot a penalty kick and he netted the ball from the bottom-left corner. It decided the fate of the final. The drama didn’t end there. Shortly thereafter, argentina’s Gustavo Dezotti got himself sent off the ground.

germany vs argentina, 1990 world cup final
Andreas Brehme’s penalty—–image via: randomnonsenseaboutthings.blogspot.com

The last meeting, 2010 World Cup, quarterfinal:

Germany and Argentina met again in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal, with the coach Maradona and magician Lionel Messi. Young German Muller’s goal was only the beginning of a rout by the Germans, who were 4-0 winners on the day after Klose scored a brace and Arne Friedrich slotted the only goal of his international career. The great Maradona was later dismissed from his position.

Nevertheless, it was 1990 finals when the either team won the world cup. So it will be a great motivation for both team. Hopefully the final will be hugely entertaining for the football world.

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FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened

Perhaps the football world has found the unchanged favorites. And the nation has just ripped Brazil’s dreams to shreds in the semifinals and also won its fourth World Cup after a tense 1-0 victory over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

Mario Gotze’s strike ensured Germany’s 24-year thirst for the glory, at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, winner 2014, World Cup 2014
World Cup 2014 Champions ; image credit www.dailymail.co.uk

For the Brazilians, FIFA World Cup 2014 final could have been calamitous. There was only one thing worse than their national team’s losing. And that thing is, their neighbor country Argentina to win the trophy. Surely that hung heavy over the fans at Maracana on Sunday.

There was actually no coronation for Lionel Messi and no party for Brazil’s greatest ever rivals, Argentina. Instead it was Germany, which celebrated its fourth World Cup title.

Many have said, no European side would or could ever win the World Cup on South America. But now we have to believe that there is always one team to refuse such proclamations.

Even words like ‘organized’, ‘machine’, ‘ruthless’, ‘efficient’ etc. would not be enough appropriate to describe this German side. The world have to admit the wonderful talent which passes through the veins of each and every player of this 2014 World Cup German squad. Germany has long threatened to rule the world football.

It came close in a tournament held in its own country. But they had to undergo the painful defeat by Italy at the semifinal stage in FIFA World Cup 2006.

In 2008, Germany was beaten in the final of the European Championships by Spain before the same opposition ended its World Cup dream in South Africa 2010.

The Germans have made it to the knockout stage in 16 consecutive World Cups. Still it’s their first trophy since 1990. And for the first time, they are the only European team to prevail in a World Cup in the Americas.

The German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said,

“We’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now”

We can easily understand, how much did Brazilian fans want to see Argentina lose? After Götze scored in the 113th minute, plenty of fans in Brazil’s yellow jerseys in the stadium, erupted. Though this very team just eliminated Brazil from the tournament in the semifinals. But any team other than Argentina winning the trophy would please the home fans.

Obviously the winning team has been the team of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Their opening game against Portugal, just indicated their urge for victory this time. And their mesmerizing 7-1 victory against Brazil in the semifinals probably ensured their final glory. they fit most for the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, Germany vs Argentina, Brazil World Cup 2014
Ozil trying for the breakthrough ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

They have secured this win through guts and fights. Also a moment of magic was needed from one of its brightest new stars to overcome the most difficult hurdle for Germany. The Bayern Munich star Gotze provided the game’s defining moment. He took Schurrle’s pass on his chest and displayed the exquisite technique to volley the ball past Sergio Romero.

Finally, Argentina couldn’t find an equalizer for the 1990 World Cup 1-0 loose against West Germany.

Meanwhile, the Argentine fans and players have hung their heads. Lionel Messi is often praised as the best player in the world. And often being compared with Diego Maradona. But Messi has failed to gain universal acclaim in Argentina, where Diego Maradona at least delivered a World Cup title in 1986.

The golden ball has been given to him, but this honor of the most valuable player in the tournament is little comfort for the magical Messi. He just missed the opportunity to cement his legacy. Whatever he has already earned or will earn in future, but this could be his biggest achievement for lifetime!

Messi said,

“All I wanted was to raise the Cup. Right now, nothing else is important”

Probably, it was left to another wonderful talent and his left foot to steal the headlines from Messi with the decisive goal. And yes, off course Brazil can smile once again. Surely there is not enough beer in the entire country to distract from the prospect of an Argentine party on the Copacabana.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: as it happened

Having scored seven in its previous game against Brazil, Germany began to wake from its slumber and only a fine save from Romero prevented Kroos’ fierce drive. It was surely supposed to nest at the corner.

Kroos’ corner dissected the Argentine defense. Benedikt Howedes also had flown through the air before sending a thunderous header against the post.

Just before a minute of the first half remaining, dramatic circumstances forced Romero to thank the woodwork as it seemed like Argentina is getting out of jail.

Germany constantly tried to regroup the South American side. They were eager to use the flanks to exploit a lack of pace in their opponent defense line.

Finally Argentina created the move, which was was thought to be the crucial breakthrough. From the right flank Ezequiel Lavezzi found some space and delivered the perfect cross for Higuain to fire from close range.

Everything was ok and perfect along with the celebration. But it did go again against the Argentines. As the flag of the assistant referee was held aloft after the forward was correctly adjudged to be offside.

Javier Mascherano grabbed his head in disbelief after seeing Higuaín’s first miss. And said,

“The pain will be for life because this was our opportunity”

Tired limbs and minds began to show down the pace of the contest. Both sets of players continuously failed to create any kind of chance for their own good.

Meanwhile Javier Mascherano was quite fortunate to escape a second yellow card. And Schweinsteiger was left with a blood pouring from his face after a clash with Sergio Aguero.

Even the extra time was slower. So, Penalties seemed inevitable.

Then, Germany finally seized its moment seven minutes before the end of the game. André Schürrle powered down the left side of the field and floated a tantalizing ball toward the six-yard box. Substitute, Götze showed good speed to arrive under the ball and chest it down. Lashed the ball past Romero and into the net. His teammates on the field and also on the side bench poured onto the field in delight.

FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina; as it happened, World Cup final, Brazil, 2014
just before the score ; image credit commons.wikimedia.org

Surely it was like dream becoming true.

Götze said,

“It is absolutely sensational, a dream became reality”

Also Argentina had a few last-ditch rushes up field. But they were unable to penetrate Neuer’s penalty area. The team was left with a final opportunity when Messi lined up a free kick from about 20 yards.

But there was no magic as Messi’s shot flew over the net. And so it was over. FIFA World Cup 2014 final found its result. Messi kicked the dirt up in the stands. The German fans as well as the Brazilians shouted out with glee. And Frustration was the only thing left for the Argentines.

Like they said, even with the miraculous Messi, Argentina was unable to take the game to penalties.

Such a thrilling finish could fit with a tournament that ended up being more about the games than pessimists had predicted earlier. But the organizers worry completely proved wrong. It didn’t happen like the last year’s Confederations Cup, which was marred by violent protests. Even after Brazil’s national team was embarrassed in the semifinal, also lost the third place game, forecasts of widespread tumult were never realized.

The Argentine president couldn’t be in Brazil. She had to decline an invitation from President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil for illness and a desire to celebrate her grandson’s first birthday. Chancellor Angela Markel of Germany and Russian president Vladimir Putin did make the trans-Atlantic trip. As Russia will host the upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2018. So. We have to wait another four years for another mesmerizing party, a total football party.