World Cup 2018: 4 reasons why Lionel Messi isn't as good as Cristiano Ronaldo on the international stage
Footballing connoisseurs all over the world are feasting on the FIFA World Cup, and to tell the truth, it's nothing short of a festival for them. But for a country in the southern half of South America, it hardly seems to be a feast worth celebrating.
Argentina ended their World Cup opener with a 1-1 scoreline against Iceland and a point in Group D. Kudos to the Scandinavians for emerging with a point after an impressive display of defensive resilience. However, they are the least of anybody's worries at the moment.
Time and again Lionel Messi has been held at gunpoint for not delivering and the game against Iceland was no different. The little magician was denied a penalty and he found himself being guillotined for the same at the end of 90 minutes.
Why doesn't he deliver for Argentina? That's a question asked by each and every one of the Albiceleste faithful. And when he is pitted against his nemesis Ronaldo, the comparison aggravates the vexation, given how the Portuguese talisman carries his nation almost single-handedly on numerous occasions (including recently against Spain).
Here's an attempt to build up a case for the Barca forward and his lamentable mishaps at international level.
#4 Dependence on Messi
Having a player like Lionel Messi in your team is a stuff of dreams; deep down in our hearts we all have longed and wished to see the Barcelona forward in the colours of our favourite clubs, barring the ever so lucky Barcelona fans.
However having Messi on the team comes with a big negative. His teammates rely on him to deliver in every single game - a condition referred to as Messidependencia. In other words, they tend to shy away from taking responsibilities.
Let's take the game vs Iceland as an example. The likes of Maximiliano Meza and Angel Di Maria, Messi's partners in the midfield, hardly created any chances for their subordinates to score.
They weren't ready to take the risk and passed the ball to Messi a number of times, expecting him to create the magic for Albiceleste.
Now scoring or even creating chances against Iceland's defence was no easy task, given their tight defensive set-up and almost 3 or 4 players breathing down Messi's neck to neutralize him.
Yet Messi did his best to save Argentina by creating 3 chances and taking 10 shots on goal. But unfortunately, it wasn't his day to rejoice.
Call him the GOAT or one of the best, no footballer can play well if his teammates don't take up equal responsibilities and do their part in helping the team win games.
A fact to note - Lionel Messi might have done great things, but in the end he is still blood, flesh and bone - a human. The Argentina squad needs to realize this and carry out their required and fair share of duties if they desire to win silverware for their nation.