Without Lionel Messi, Argentina could be in big trouble for the next World Cup in Russia. As of now, the Argentinean national #Soccer team is ranked number one in the world according to FIFA. Things could change in the ranks after losing to Chile in the Copa America tournament two years in a row with penalties, but, if it does change, Argentina will still remain as the top three in the world.
Most of the success by Argentina in the last three years, reaching three finals in three major international soccer tournaments, is mostly due to Lionel Messi. Yes, the superstar-soccer player has taken Argentina to three major finals in a row, they lost all three, but it was all because of Messi.
Messi at 2014 World Cup
Messi was the leading scorer for Argentina in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with four goals. Those four goals were very important goals for Argentina since many of them were winning goals. Messi had winning goals against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran. The other two goals were against Nigeria which helped Argentina win 3-2 against the African powerhouse. In the end, Argentina lost to Germany by a goal in overtime in the final.
Messi at 2015 Copa America
In Copa America 2015 hosted by Chile, Messi was tied for the most assists in the tournament with Jorge Valdivia from Chile. Messi only had one goal in this tournament but his assisting and control in the midfield was what took Argentina to the final. Of course, Argentina lost to Chile in penalties after going scoreless in regular and overtime.
Messi at Copa America Centenario
The following year at the Copa America Centenario, Argentina lost in the final of the tournament, once again to Chile in the same fashion. However, the master of the team was Messi. It was Messi who got a hat trick in the second game of group play and his assisting throughout the tournament that made Argentina the powerhouse of the tournament.
It was in the last tournament that Argentina seemed to be really well rounded around Messi, the best since the World Cup in 2014. However, the third loss in a row in a final was a huge blow to the best player in the world that caused him to retire from the national team.
Messi is only 29-years-old and looks like he could still play for a good three years before age takes a toll on him. Messi could easily keep playing for Argentina, at least until the next World Cup in Russia. If he truly decides to hang up his boots for Argentina, it will be very hard for the South American team to find another master like Messi.
With FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi wins many trophies because the Spaniard team plays in a league in which only a few teams are considered competitive. Yes he has won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona and that was probably the best Messi has done internationally.
With Argentina, Messi has done really well too. He just has the bad luck in losing in the finals.