Lionel Messi came from humble beginnings, hailing from a small village in Argentina where he started playing football at the age of 5.
When he was only 11 it became apparent that he suffered from a hormonal problem which would impede his growth and required a $900-a-month treatment.
Argentinian clubs Newell's and River Plate both refused to pay the monthly medical fees, and so his relatives living in Spain got him a trial at Barcelona, where he remains to this day.
We all know of his successes as the European media machine doesn't let us forget them. A constant bombardment of "New Maradona," best in the world, best there ever was blab, is unavoidable if tuned in to just about any sports channel.
However, in this article I ask the question: Is there a chink in Lionel Messi's armour?
Does the lad with the hormonal problem actually have the balls to go up against any kind of opponent?
The facts pretty much speak for themselves, but you have to pay attention to world football to get the answer.
Having been transferred to Europe at an early age and having spent practically all of his footballing career and indeed most of his life there, Messi feels at home versus European adversaries.
The same cannot, however, be said versus his South American counterparts.
It's a known fact that Messi struggled and disappointed in the South American World Cup qualifiers with supporters brushing this off as a mere greater dedication to club than country.
The same can be said for other plastic media inventions the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who also failed miserably in their World Cup qualifiers but were propped up via the "love of club" mantra.
In spite of the qualifier failures and unlike the other two aforementioned stars , Messi did deliver the goals and the dribbles until he hit a bump.
Enter in scene: Inter Milan. An Italian club...or is it?
If we take a closer look at Inter Milan and really see the club for what it is, it becomes apparent that the entire retentive system and indeed almost the entire team is made up of South American players.
Messi simply does not have the balls to lock horns with South American defenses. Having grown up in Europe he feels at home with the sliding tackles and shouldered runs but against opponents who can read his movements early and react, he just fizzles out.
In the 2007 Copa America, he was impotent as Brazil slammed three past Argentina.
In the qualifiers Brazil would repeat this feat in his home town with all his family watching in an historic, humiliating 3-1 trashing of Argentina in Argentina. Surely love of family and country versus an arch rival should have jolted a response but Maradona's gamble to take the match to Messi's home town sadly failed.
Failed because the "love of club" media invention was just that, nothing but a media invention.
Messi will now go on to South Africa to play on the world's greatest stage. If Argentina are to prevail then at some point it is inevitable that South American opposition will present itself and Maradona must struggle to organize his team well because counting on just Messi may turn out to be another dire miscalculation.
There have only been two World Cups single-handedly won: Garrincha in '62 and Maradona in '86. Mainstream media will have us believe that another football Messiah exists in the form of Lionel Messi...but the kid just doesn't have the balls.
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