Lionel Messi’s last dance as a united Argentina ready to give everything for their captain
2022 FIFA Globalism The trophy will be the last dance for Lionel Messi to get his hands on the coveted trophy. Arguably the greatest player in the game ever, Messi has won every trophy except for the glorious World Cup and this time is perhaps the last chance for him to fulfill his dream. The 35-year-old came close to lifting the trophy in 2014 but Germany’s Mario Gotze snatched it away in extra time in the World Cup final in Brazil. Many images of a devastated Messi went viral from that final where he was named player of the tournament, but it was quite clear that he didn’t care much about it as he failed to fulfill his childhood dream.
Argentina usually enter every World Cup as one of the favourites, and 2022 will be no different. The Copa América champions are considered contenders for the title by many footballing greats, including former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.
In the 2018 World Cup, France knocked them out of the tournament with a thrilling 4-3 victory in the Round of 16. However, a lot has changed in Argentine football since that World Cup. Lionel Scaloni has revamped the Argentine squad with some young talented players in the team who are willing to do everything to win the World Cup for their team and especially for their captain and idol Messi.
The Argentina national team is riding an impressive 36-game unbeaten streak dating back to 2019, and they are perhaps the most qualified side alongside Brazil at the World Cup. They won the Copa America last year as Messi inspired his team to the glorious title after 28 long years. They also beat European champions Italy in the final earlier this year to cement their position at the World Cup.
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Looking at the depth in their squad, Argentina have a great mix of strikers at the World Cup with Messi, Angel Di Maria being the seniors, while Julián Alvarez, Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez are the youngsters who have performed admirably this season. their team.
In midfield, the South American giants are solid with Rodrigo de Paul and other talented stars like Leandro Paredes, Guido Rodriguez and Alejandro Gomez.
It will be a very long time ago when the Argentine enters the World Cup with a strong defensive unit that includes the likes of Christian Romero, Lisandro Martínez, Juan Foyth and Marcos Acuna. Romero and Martinez have been very strong for their clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respectively this season. It will be difficult for the opposition to break the impasse. While a player like Akuna would be very vital in terms of reinforcement. He has the speed to disrupt the opposition and his long runs will be crucial from the left. Nahuel Molina and Nicolás Tagliafico have both worked well as full-backs.
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez showed his form during last year’s Copa America, where he was undoubtedly the best player for Argentina after Messi throughout the tournament.
One of the important players that Barcelona will miss is Giovani Lo Celso, who was absent from the team because he needed surgery for his hamstring injury. The midfielder has been crucial to Argentina’s build-up of goals in the past two years and will add responsibility to De Paul for being more involved in goal building.
It is safe to say that Argentina have great unity in their team because all the players are ready to give everything on the pitch for their teammates. We have witnessed many times in the last two years how they attack the opposition when their captain Messi has been dealt with by almost any player. All credit goes to Scaloni for building a unified atmosphere in the team where they treat each other like family.
The players are ready to do anything for their captain, Messi, who has suffered some heartbreaking defeats in the past in Argentine colours.
“We’re going to go to war for Messi,” Manchester United’s Martinez told ESPN Argentina.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano spoke about Messi’s speech before the Copa America final by interacting with Prime Video. The goalkeeper said, “I was talking, a little shudder, to Messi speaking. Everyone shuts up. They’re all like this, whoever: the manager, the president of Argentina, whoever’s there. They just shut up.”
When it comes to a tactical point of view, Argentina have flexibility in their formation which makes them very special. The off-the-ball work of players like De Paul is absolutely condemned because the chemistry of all the players allows them to put pressure on the opposition. Defenders do not back down from their rally as they are free to go to the attacking section. Tagliafico made some quick runs to open up players like Messi and Di Maria to work their magic with the ball.
The midfield worked in a unified manner in that when one of them went into the attacking area, the other two changed positions to compensate in the midfield.
Counter-pressing is key to Argentina’s success as they look hungry on the pitch to win back possession. The midfielders do some extra work both with and without the ball allowing Messi to play his games freely without running back to defend. They may not have been the best tactical teams in the world, but they knew how to make things run quite similarly to Real Madrid at club level.
It’s no secret that Messi has a specific style of play where he doesn’t like to run much in the defensive department. The 35-year-old maestro looks forward to sweeping spaces and exploiting them with his extraordinary skills with the ball that are second to none. It is almost impossible to single him out one-on-one when he has the ball allowing other players to move freely which is why playmaker Messi would be more valuable to Argentina rather than tournament top scorer Messi.
While Di Maria will be very crucial for Argentina against the big clubs, he has a knack for getting the job done on big occasions, but with him being slightly injury prone, management will have to take care of his workload. It is expected that Lautaro will be the starter ahead of Dybala and Alvarez, and the Inter Milan striker must complete Messi to score goals.
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The Albiceleste have to work on off-side traps that were a bit lackluster in some matches, but with massive firepower up front, they got away with it because Argentine players smell goals when Messi starts his run at any point in the game. .
They, along with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland, are placed in Group C at the World Cup later this year. They may not have much difficulty in the first round, but as the tournament progresses, they will have to pick up the intensity to replicate the success of the Copa América.
Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martinez, Geronimo Rolli. Franco Armani
Defenders: Nahuel Molina, Gonzalo Montiel, Christian Romero, German Pezzella, Nicolas Otamendi, Lisandro Martinez, Marcos Acuña, Nicolas Tagliafico, Juan Foyth
Midfielders: Rodrigo de Paul, Leandro Paredes, Alexis McCallister, Guido Rodriguez, Alejandro Gomez, Enzo Fernandez, Exequiel Palacios
Attackers: Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, Julian Alvarez, Angel Correa, Thiago Almada, Paulo Dybala, Lionel Messi
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