Argentina is struggling to qualify for the world cup 2010 and will probably not qualify also. I will be pleasantly surprised if Argentina with a bunch of above 35 years olds can beat Peru or Uruguay. Anyway, why Argentina is not able to qualify is not in my mind today. It is Lionel Messi, what is in mind. Questions has started to pop up in various quarters about Messi's ability. Questions are asked - Why is Messi not as great and invincible for Argentina as he is for Barcelona? Again, this is not what is in my mind either.
What is going on in my mind, is the counter part of it - Why is Messi great and invincible for Barcelona? The answer that is rapidly getting accepted in the footballing world is that - its the Barcelona the "team", its players & its powerful manager Pep Guardiola who makes the weapon Messi look more sharp than it actually is.
Question I have in mind, along with the answer is, how sharp does/did Barcelona look in Messi's absence? It has been only a year or may be less for certain games, where Barcelona with all other major stars looked listless and could not create chances also. There have been plenty of games last season where Barcelona looked an ordinary bunch of players only for Messi to come and rescue them. It was too the extent that Pep Guardiola had to carry Messi to Mallorca to defend a 2-0 lead in Copa Del Rey.
Barcelona is a great team with great football players and a great manager. Messi is quite surely the shining star in the team. Barcelona is the reason why Messi even exists. They can get the best out of Lionel and have players to compliment him. All that is true - but it is also not true that Messi is only good because he is in Barcelona. Its been long overdue to accept that he is the best thing to happen to the game. Let's not undermine his abilities because Argentina is not doing well.
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