Leo Messi is undoubtedly the king of football right now. His superhuman prowess combined with success record makes him one the most popular footballers on planet earth. It seems as if there is nothing Messi has not achieved, except that it is not true. While Messi has indeed had a stellar career at the club level, his national team record draws a stark contrast. Let us take a look on those things that keeps Messi from becoming a talisman for his National team.
1. False Hope?
When Messi shot to fame, Argentinian football fans held their breath as they anticipated a change in their fortunes with the rise of this iconic talisman. They hoped that the Catalan forward will bring the world to his feet, and that Argentina will once again regain their lost glory. Unfortunately, things did not turn out to be that way. While Messi continued to perform very well for Barcelona, he was too meek while playing for his national side. The coaches tried everything – they changed his position, they changed the entire tactical strategy to suit Messi’s style but nothing worked.
2. Is there a Lack of Talent in the Team?
With disappointment all around, pundits began to attribute the lack of success to the fact that Argentina does not have a strong enough midfield to amply support Messi. While it is indeed true that the national side does not have players of the same caliber as Xavi or Iniesta, it will be wrong to say that the Argentinian team is devoid of any talent whatsoever. The likes of Mascherano, Ever Banega and Lavezzi are most certainly worthy names that can provide a solid support system for Messi.
So what is it that is keeping Messi from becoming the star his countrymen hope him to become?
3. Tactical Indecisiveness
For starters, it is the ever changing formation. Argentinian tacticians continue to be confused about their formation. There is a swinging pendulum that keeps swinging from a false-nine position to a 4-4-1-1 position. While it is important to make sure that Messi feels comfortable, the tacticians should also make sure that the rest of the team understands the strategy and is comfortable with it. After all, a team is made up of 11 players and not just one.
4. Lack of Finishing Touch
Secondly, Messi still finds it difficult to gel with Lavezzi and Tevez. The Barcelona star is very well-known for creating beautiful passes but a number of times, those passes fall flat as the chances are missed by the star men upfront. The situation is so complicated that even the presence of a clinical striker like Aguero does not help.
5. Is Messi too tired to Play for the National Team?
Thirdly, fitness levels are a concern. While Messi rarely has any serious fitness problems, the fatigue of year-round football in Spain does have an effect on him. Being the most important player at one of the biggest clubs in the world would, without a doubt, have a huge impact on Messi and it must test his mental as well as physical stamina. Perhaps that is why we see Messi playing a slower, calmer game for the national team which is a far cry from his blistering runs and unbelievable acceleration while playing for Barcelona.
In order to take Argentina to the next level, Messi has a number of things to work on. More importantly, however, it is the board, management and fans of the national side that need to get aligned with what Messi wants to do. All that the young talisman needs, is a little faith!