Football is a team sport and is quite like a machine that works well when all components fall into place with perfect coherence and compatibility. But more often than not, the onus to propel a country towards its victory falls on two shoulders and not more. Especially even more so when the playing field boasts of juggernauts like Messi and Ronaldo.

Of course winning a tournament is tougher still but dribble past five English players, score the goal of the century and the dream inches closer to reality. Or you could try to score a hat-trick to ferry your side to victory like Pele did but that is for another time.

With Ronaldo lifting the coveted European trophy in 2016, the smoldering expectations from Messi to bring an international trophy home have been fanned to a fiery inferno of uncompromising demands.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona

In a recent turn of events where Messi has been an unfortunate victim of a slew of dismissals for his “inability to lead”, the Argentine fans are more impatient than ever. Especially because their qualifications for the 2018 world cup stands on slippery grounds, a side that was runner-up for 2014 world cup.

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The Performance Downturn

The recent downfall of the team has managed to buzz the football world, with the coach alternating players like Aguero, Di Maria, Dybala, Icardi and Benedetto far more often than what most would deem necessary. The substitutions are just as frequent if not more; when the game plan doesn’t pan out as foreseen. The trio Messi, Dybala, Aguero and Messi, Dybala, Di Maria hasn’t been quite made use of and the fans have been clutching on their hope, Magical Maestro Messi, lest their expectations fade in a looming mirage of despair. The frustrations pinned on failures of the team at the international level has found a ready outlet in the form of “Messi bashing”, something that his retirement last year has so sparked.

So is Messi really at fault here or is he just a scapegoat? How interesting as we find that the same the retirement row has once again become more relevant than it has ever been.

Most critics argue that the lackluster performance of the team can largely be attributed to the players’ complete lack of coordination. It has often been found that if the plan goes sideways, the ball finds its way to Messi’s feet and the lack of accountability has managed to crumble the team from its base. It is often argued that Messi has done his share as an architect and a playmaker but the attackers have failed to capitalize on the opportunities that he has so created.

Messi dejected

The Argentines have done almost everything to scrape every dirty surface with the AFA changing its coach three times in a span of one year but it seems the three dispiriting fiascos and the recent downfall shouldn’t just land at Messi’s feet and the team should carry the burden.

So, what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below.

With valuable inputs from Vishal Sharma- Facebook Instagram LinkedIn