Argentina vs Peru: Lionel Messi and Stars Under Most Pressure to Shine

Nicholas GossCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 26:  Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina runs with Maurice Edu #7 of the United States during the first half of a friendly match  at New Meadowlands Stadium on March 26, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Even though Argentina is at the top of the South American group in 2014 World Cup qualifying, there are still several players who must shine before the tournament begins to ensure they earn a spot on the World Cup squad.

Tuesday's match against Peru will be a good opportunity for several players to have a fine performance, and prove they will be an important part of the team.

Let's look at three players under the most pressure to shine for Argentina on Tuesday.


Lionel Messi

There is always a lot of pressure on Lionel Messi when he's wearing the Argentina shirt. He's consistently expected to score in each match, but his recent form has been spectacular.

In the last three matches he's played in for his country, Messi has scored five goals, including a hat-trick against Brazil.

If Messi can score against Peru and captain Argentina to a victory on Tuesday, he will help his nation take another step in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


Fernando Gago

Gago plays an important role in the Argentina midfield. With veteran players such as Javier Mascherano and Esteban Cambiasso no longer usual members of the squad, Gago has to be the defensive force in the midfield.

The Valencia star is a strong tackler, and does not make too many mistakes in the defensive third of the pitch.

If he can continue to be a rock in the midfield, Argentina will be a harder team to score against in the World Cup.


Sergio Germán Romero

Romero is one of the most important players for Argentina, and since he's the goalkeeper, there's certainly a lot of pressure on him to shine each match.

One thing that Argentina has lacked in recent years is an elite goalkeeper, but Romero has played well over the last few months.

With a back four in front of him that is, for the most part, a young group, Romero will have to be in top form every match for Argentina to win against the best squads in the world.