Lionel Messi is one of the best players, if not the best, to ever play football. There are no doubts about it. He’s a magician who just isn’t running out of tricks. Each match his critics sit out to figure out even a single attribute where the Argentine has declined. Though the 32-year-old refuses to drop down his level. He has just won his sixth Ballon d’Or, one more than his most fearsome competitor in Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, he gets criticised more often for his failures with his international team, Argentina. But amongst all the nasty criticism, Diego Maradona came out to defend the Barcelona maestro.
He narrated an incident about his agony when Argentina was beaten in a match. The Argentine legend was quoted as saying, “I am a friend of Messi. I’ve seen him crying in the dressing room when we lost 4-0 when many were more concerned looking to find a flight to return as soon as possible. I saw him crying like a five-year-old baby”
Lionel Messi‘s only international success has been with a 2008 Olympic gold medal. While he has just missed out on various occasions as he ended up as a runner-up in 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2015 Copa America and 2016 Copa America.
After a disappointment in 2016 edition of Copa America, he retired from international football. Only to return in 2018 World Cup’s qualifiers and eventually the World Cup itself.
Lionel Messi’s greatness can be underlined by his stats. The Argentine club record stands at 617 goals in 703 appearances for Barcelona. And nd 70 goals in 137 appearances for Argentina. Which pretty much amounts to one goal contribution per match. While his goal contribution for Argentina in spite of being impressive is still at the same standards as his club record.
However, he still has another chance which maybe his last chance, at glory with the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If there is anything which stands between his “arguably the best” and “the best” status, it’s an international trophy.