Ever since the inclusion of the football prodigy and maestro, the 4 time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, expectations have raised in terms of the performances of the team and more often than not, the fans are met with a sense of disappointment due to the under achievement of the squad.
The 2010 World Cup campaign seemed to end before it even started as Argentina crashed out in the league stages of the tournament and being the superstar player on the team, Leo had to face the criticism from the fans due to his lack of goal scoring form in the tournament.
This seems bizarre by any standards, but Messi’s form seemed to always desert him during competitions of international importance: the burden of the expectations from his fellow countrymen probably getting to him. However, his goal scoring form indicated no such slump for his club FC Barcelona, which was seen as an opportunity to dismantle the integrity of the player, the reporters even going to the extent of calling him someone who plays the sport for the money involved in it.
The 2014 World Cup came as an opportunity to put all his critics to rest, Messi single-handedly leading Argentina into the finals of the tournament which was eventually won by Germany. As a fan, the journey to the final had its own share of thrill, with the qualification to the Round Of 16 being one such instance. It wasn’t until the 91st minute of the match that Messi curled one into the back of the net and break the hearts of the players and fans of Iran.
This year, that is 2017 was not for the faint hearted. Argentina was almost on the verge of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup that is being hosted by Russia, a big set setback by any stretch of imagination. The situation panned out to be such that Argentina had to beat Ecuador and other results had to pan out in Argentina’s favor. Luckily for us fans, the starts seemed to align for the little maestro as he slaughtered a hat trick in this match of paramount importance.
All in all, being a fan of the Argentine National Football Team is not for the faint hearted and who knows, what lies ahead in the upcoming World Cup. Will the most illustrated football player of our generation finally win the elusive World Cup?
Only Time Will Tell!