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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.

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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.