Argentina are you crying ? Argentina are you too much dependent on you Messi ? Don’t cry Argentina , Messi is too tired. Mentally and emotionally burned out, Lionel Messi crumbles under the burden of carrying Argentina at the World Cup.
But he dragged them through the last World Cup, and only a hat-trick from Messi saved this dream in the thin air of Quito. He has carried this team for so long that he could file an injury-at-work compensation claim for a bad back.
Of course not, because everyone knows that the burden – the focus, the debate – will be put on Messi. He knew it. Everyone knew it. And everyone knows it is now highly likely he will not get his hands on the unique trophy.
Lionel Messi has contributed to goals in both extraordinary volume and of extraordinary importance for Argentina.
But this time it is world cup. Atleast for the last time Messi should have gone for his magic. Atleast for his million and million of fans around the world who wanted him to be the central hero. Especially when a midfield featuring Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, who were facing the tired legs of Enzo Perez and Javier Mascherano. Against Iceland, there was a good game to play: Count the number of times Messi was given the ball with three or four players around him. His magnetism to opposition players should create space for others, but either his teammates were taking the easy way out, or Jorge Sampaoli was. Or both.
The frazzled-looking coach knew the truth that it didn’t feel or look right before the game.
Sergio Aguero has taken a swipe at Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli following the defeat to Croatia.
Certainly Messi deserves better than this. His brilliance has bred complacency in those around and above him. Sampaoli insisted that his team would not solely rely on one player, but if anyone was naive enough to believe that trope before the tournament, they surely do no longer. Turning his teammates into a team might just be Messi’s Sisyphean task. He does not deserve censure, only sympathy.
The revelation that Messi had locked himself away in his room on the Sunday. He was so distraught at that penalty miss against Iceland was followed by a strangely subdued demeanour before the game. This did not seem like his usual introverted nature, but instead something more intense, as he so curiously and conspicuously fixed his hair while looking so ashen-faced as the anthems played.
May be this can be the end his career in the competition with a uniquely bad performance from a player of such historic quality.
Watching Messi play for Argentina, regularly wiping his brow as another opportunity passes by, is an uncomfortable experience. And so you get to a mediocre penalty against Iceland, and a man looking haunted even as the national anthem plays.
Success brings wild applause and adoration; failure brings gasps and notoriety.