Monday, 27 June 2016

Leo Messi - Mucho Gracias

After Losing the Copa America against Chile, a tearful Messi (I think its the first time we saw him cry on the field ever since that injury in 2007/08 season) said this: The National team is over for me. I think its good for everyone. First for me and then for everyone else. I believe there are a lot of people who want that. Thats already 4 finals. I have tried a lot. Its what is most wanted. For me, its done.

To read a well written article, go here;



My humble take on this:

Ever since he has been hailed as one of the greatest football players (since 22 years or so to now when he is 29 and for a lot of players,pundits and fans he is the GOAT) Argentina have desperately waited for Messi to give them a World cup win. They wanted him to do it 'single handedly' a la Maradona (which Maradona never did, no football player can do that), in 1986. They do not care at all that Maradona had an absolutely wonderful team (players, coaching staff and an AFA) behind him. So every time, it didnt work in Argentina's favour the whole blame went to Messi.

2010 W Cup, Messi was the reason Argentina went out in the quarter.
Not AFA who made one of the stupidest decision in football to give the coaching job to a clue less and experience less Maradona, nor was it the fault of Maradona or the other 22 players in the squad.

2011 Copa, Messi was the reason, Argentina lost again.
Not Batista, who wanted Argentina to play beautiful flowing football a la Barca, without having players to do so;
not AFA who pushed Batista to include Tevez in the team (Tevez who have scored only 12 goals for Argentina is considered a saviour by many Argentine critics and media!);
not all the other 22 players who could not score from the 'put me in' passes (a term used by the Late Tito Villanova ) Messi created in that tournament

2014 W Cup, Messi was the only reason Argentina lost in the finals,
not Germany FA, who have been building a strong team ever since their loss in 2006 WC, by sticking to excellent talent building from the bottom levels and using a single tactically astute coach for a very long period (!) (which AFA wont even attempt to) thereby having a much superior and well drilled team ;
not because Argentina played an extreme defensive style with a poor squad (when Germany had the likes of Gotze on the bench, Argentina had Palacio!!);
not Higuain or Palacio, both at the end of open chances (Messi also struck one inches wide, but that was not an open chance as many make it to be. It was considered a chance only because of the high standards Messi has set for himself);
not because AFA will not pay a good salary for their coach, thereby depriving a team from the services of a world class tactician (Sabella was ranked 28/32 coaches in  the salary received list among 2014WC coaches!! and good coaches charge good salary these days).  However, I have to say Sabella did a good job with the squad considering the fact that most of his star players were not fit, but he cannot take the blame away from picking a below average bench

2015 Copa, Messi was the reason, Argentina lost their second finals in a row;
not AFA who once again decided to pick the cheapest coach available for the job, Tata Martino;
not Tata who gave into the AFA and media pressure and picked Tevez into the team in the last minute;
not Tata who was using Messi like a central midfielder even playing Pastore ahead of Messi;
not Tata who was clueless with tactics, absolutely un prepared, in the finals;
not Higuain who once again missed a chance;
not Tevez or other players who missed their penalty kick

2016 Copa, We are yet to see all the blame game, but definitely it will be all Messi (especially since he too missed a penalty);
not Higuain who missed a consecutive third chance in the third finals;
not AFA who is in absolute mess with FIFA appointing a 6 member committee to look after their affairs because of a rigged election;
not AFA who has not paid the coach and his staff for more than 7 MONTHS (!);
not De Maria who has continuously got himself injured in all these 3 tournaments;
not Aguero who wasted 2 good chances which he would normally score;
not Tata who made tactical mistakes by starting DeMaria and asking Banega to support him in the left side; not Tata who once again repeated the typical Argentine mistake to play defensive in the final(!) and again and again.

I think, for once, this time Argentina had a big issue with luck. After a very long time, in this Copa, it looked like their midfield was looking good with the inclusion of Augusto Fernandez. A perfect player to support Banega and Messi. And he got injured in the semis, which meant Tata would call back the service of Biglia, who would be poor in replicating what Augusto does. And that was so evident in the game, with Argentina looking so poor in their midfield, Chile looked better even with a man disadvantage!! Only Messi and Banega played anywhere near an excellent game.

Anyways, from Maradona to many other journalists, so many pundits in Argentina would put all the blame on Messi and am so glad he decided to call it quits, on the very same day. That's a middle finger to all of them. Maradona, out of all the people, should remember that his team mates scored 3 goals for him in 86 finals. Messi's mates, are not able to score even one! Maradona's 86 team played with a 3-5-2, with a packed and excellent midfield, who all played to get the best out of him (An Argentinian legend Passerella sat on the bench for the whole tournament as he didnt agree with the plan to play for Maradona). And dear Deigo, out of all people you know very well (from 2010) that Messi's team mates are nowhere near his wave length and stops running, when Messi has the ball. Yet, you behaving like this is making me very angry. And you were my first sporting idol! Deigo, if you were passing the balls to Higuain in 86, you would not have been a champion too!!!

Both Luis Menotti and Riquelme had said - take care of Messi, he is our only way to glory, and see what they did. Imagine an AFA who force players like Riquelme and Messi into pre mature retirement from their national team.

My point is, I have always felt, Argentina dont deserve Messi. This is a good decision for football. He will not have to do all those grueling travels during the international breaks and summer holidays, meaning, Barca will have a rested Messi. We will be able to enjoy him more with Barca..

Gracias Messi, Mucho Gracias, you did the right thing!!