World Cup 2018: 5 reasons why Lionel Messi has been average for Argentina
After losing his third final with Argentina in a row, Lionel Messi decided to retire from the national team despite only just hitting 30. The crushing defeats in a consecutive fashion were too much for the Argentina captain to handle.
And so he did the unthinkable – he hung up his boots for Argentina.
At this point, the world was in shock as to whether 2014 was the last time when they saw Messi playing in the World Cup. A player of his magnitude not playing another World Cup was too much of a disappointment for anyone to handle.
For Argentina, things just got worse.
After his retirement, Argentina sank further into the abyss as their World Cup qualification was becoming a disaster. Watching Argentina not qualify for the World Cup was becoming a reality as they were on the brink of missing out from playing in the grandest competition of them all.
And then the sun rose and the flowers blossomed.
Lionel Messi decided to come back and play again for the national team. His presence instantly lifted Argentina and his hattrick against Ecuador confirmed Argentina’s flight to Russia for the World Cup.
However, once in Russia for the tournament, Messi hasn’t been at his best self. The magician that we are so accustomed to watching on the pitch is nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that he scored a great goal against Nigeria.
And here are 5 reasons as to why that has been the case thus far…
#5 Too much expectation
After shooting his nation to the World Cup, the whole of Argentina expected – and still do – Lionel Messi to be at his best and make the Albiceleste complete what they couldn’t in the 2014 World Cup.
Despite the fact that Argentina are not anywhere near the best teams in the competition, Argentines still expect a miracle from the team because of the fact that Lionel Messi plays for the team.
And how can you blame them?
This is a man who is capable of winning games all by himself, so it is only natural for his fans to put so much faith in him.
However, what they perhaps don’t realize is that these expectations are also putting…