|Thursday, December 22, 2022|
" Failure is an inverted side of success." A philosopher
fter a 2014 FIFA World cup final defeat to Germany, a highly disappointed Lionel Messi, in contending with the pains and pangs of defeat, threw in the towel, by announcing his retirement from international soccer; it took the intervention of the Argentinian president to call him on the phone, and convince him to carry on! He listened to his country's president and continued with international soccer.
After another "COPA AMERICA" final defeat to Brazil, in 2019; in a penalty shoot-out series, where he lost the deciding penalty that tilted the balance in favour of Brazil, Messi decided he had had enough and decided it was time to quit international soccer finally.
His frustrations were understandable. After having played for his country since his teenage years and not having won anything with Argentina; even as skipper of the team, he decided it was time to go. He was apparently bugged down by the frustrations of repeated failure in his soccer adventures with Argentina, contrary to his clubsides' career that flourished repeatedly with endless trophies!
However, this time around, it took the intervention of Coach Lionel Scaloni, to convince him to stay on as international. Like a good 'student', he listened to his 'master'; and with benefit of hindsight, subsequently, with good consequences(results)!
The proverbial "dark patch", in his international soccer fortunes, were wiped away subsequently, as Argentina, under his leadership/skippership, lifted their 'maiden' trophy : the 2021 COPA AMERICA, against Brazil, in the final match, decided by .you guessed it right : penalty shoot-outs!
Messi kept a date with destiny in that pulsating final against Brazil, by taking his own shot accurately and together with the other succesful Argentinian penalty takers, broke the jinx, and lifted the 2021 COPA AMERICA !
It was finally sweet victory for Skipper Lionel Messi of Argnetina, and of course the other team mates!
The encouragement of the victory in the COPA AMERICA, encouraged him to try his luck again at the 2022 FIFA World cup competition, at the rather 'old' age of 35 years!
Once again, good fortune smiled on him and his team mates and country, as he led them to another Argentinian World cup victory, after 36 years!
However, truth be told, the Argentinian national team, is more than Lionel Messi. Messi as skipper lead the team, and, also, constantly brought the weight of his exceptional talent to bear in the team's affairs, on the soccer pitch. Much as he helped the team this way, the contributions of the other players, cannot be ignored!
The Argentinian team is one solid group or 'ensemble', wielded together by their young coach: Lionel Scaloni. They played good soccer like a well-oiled group! Notwithstanding the loss to Saudi Arabia, in the opening match, they showed character by defeating teams like: Mexico, Poland in the group's stages. And Australia, Holland, Croatia and, eventually, France in the nerve-pulsating final match!
And in that final match, they showed "extra-ordinary character" by going all the way with France; even to the last penalty kick!
They deservedly won the 2022 FIFA World cup competition!
In conclusion, Lionel Messi, most likely, will quit international soccer, to concentrate on club soccer. This time around, he will quit with pride and honour, through the front door: a happy and very accomplished international soccer player!
Notwithstanding his rich palmares at club level, the FIFA World cup is the epitome of soccer competitions! Any player who wants to be remembered as a soccer great, is expected to win this ultimate trophy!
By winning the FIFA World cup, Lionel Messi joins soccer greats like: Pele, Maradona, Franz Beankenbauer, Lothar Mathaeus, Kylian Mbappe, Dino Zoff, Fabio Cannavaro , Didier Deschamps , Thierry Henry and the other soccer greats, in the soccer hall of fame!
UP LIONEL MESSI ! UP LA ALBICELESTE !!!!!!!!!