Argentina murdered their own king – The Lionel Messi Chapter
Fear in the eyes, nervousness on the ball, those iconic dribbles seemed to have faded away, defenders clinching the ball away from his feet, Lionel Messi was nothing but a crestfallen warrior as Croatia hammered Argentina to push them closer to elimination. Is this the Lionel Messi we have known? No.
For all of us fans, who are accustomed to seeing the left-footed genius dribble past footballers like skipping stones, it was a mentally agonizing sight. For all of us who expected to see the boy from Rosario chip the best goalkeepers in the world and raise his arms up in the air, it was a night of extreme horror and disgust.
Turning our attention to yesterday’s game, the Albiceleste looked a flawed bunch even before the starting whistle. A calamitous lineup, a goofed up strategy, an edgy goalkeeper, trivial back passes and most importantly a coach who had no idea what he was doing. But whom do you blame? Lionel Messi.
To be brutally honest about the situation, the Argentines have dug their own grave. Yes, the Lionel Messi we see today, is a horizon away from the player he used to be. This one is a victim of criticism, monstrous pressure and greed of his countrymen and probably the burden of being the greatest of all time. Also, the foolish desire of the fans to see the 30-year-old repeat the ‘one-man show’ put up by Diego Maradona in 1986.
It is outright shameful that the country of Argentina has failed to chalk out the fine line of difference between support and threat. Yes, unfortunately, Lionel Messi’s case falls under the definition of the latter.
It was just four years ago that the Argentine number 10 put up a fictional performance to carry the nation to the World Cup finals. What followed was two consecutive Copa America grand finales with the captain’s armband wrapped around his sleeves. However, for Lionel Messi is human, he failed to take his team over the line in each of the three occasions.
Yes, it was his fault. That he bowed down to his countrymen’s impatient order, that he never shied away from taking the responsibility of a captain, that he gave his supreme on the pitch. And the biggest gaffe on his part was to score a hat-trick and take his nation into the World Cup finals, one more time.
It is to be brought to notice that no player in World Cup history has been victimized by such an enormous burden and has been pulled down as a national failure despite performing time and time again.
Argentina, you have murdered your own king. Let go, you do not deserve Lionel Messi.