The Barcelona star captained La Albiceleste to an important away win in Lima, drawing his country closer to World Cup qualification. In the aftermath of the game, Messi rightly commended the team effort that culminated in the win.
"I'm happy with the victory, we needed it after the game we played the other day," he stated, as quoted by Goal. “From the beginning, we had a great match, the goals came and we created many, many chances."
"The second half the other day was already very good and I think we continued on the same line, even raising the level a bit. I think this is the way we have to continue. Little by little, we are becoming stronger as a group," added Messi.
Argentina are becoming stronger as a team as they look to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. What is even more refreshing is the fact that the squad is gradually learning to play without depending too much on the Barcelona star.
One of the reasons why La Albiceleste have failed to do well in recent years is the team’s over-reliance on Messi. It’s not a bad thing to depend on a player as talented as the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. However, it becomes problematic when the team was unable to perform to its potential in his absence.
Argentina are playing as a collective this year
Under Lionel Scaloni, though, La Albiceleste are beginning to depend on the collective strengths of every player on the pitch. This has been particularly evident in the team’s recent games.
There was a time when Argentina were so dependent on Messi that he was the team’s sole source of goals. In recent times, though, the goals have been spread across the team, with other players sharing the responsibility.
Messi hasn’t scored in his last three games for Argentina but the team is doing just fine. Some years ago, this would have meant a lack of attacking potency for La Albiceleste.
On Wednesday, the team came away with an impressive 2-0 win over Peru, thanks to goals from Nicolas Gonzalez and Lautaro Martinez. In Argentina’s previous game against Paraguay, it was Gonzalez who scored, while in the game before that, Martinez and Joaquin Correa scored a goal each against Bolivia.
At 33, Messi is already in the twilight of his football career and it is crucial that Argentina begin planning for the future. If you consider how the team is currently playing, though, it is evident that there is hope for La Albiceleste after Messi retires from the national team.Published 19 Nov 2020, 15:04 IST