Tag Archives: Messi

Questions About the Future of Argentina Football National Team After Brasil 2014

Alejandro Sabella stepped down as head of Argentina National Team after achieving the second place in Brasil 2014. With his departure, the team he assembled will exist no more.

Yet, will the spirit and the defensive mentality that he created live on?
Will the new manager – supposedly Tata Martino – build on the legacy created by Sabella?
Will the next manager force a complete makeover or just a face lift?
And most importantly: Who will continue to represent Argentina from the current squad and until the next World Cup in Russia 2018?

Many key figures are already in their late 20′s and adding 4 years to the age of those players, we will end up with many squad members in their early 30′s. The most prominent name in this case is Lionel Messi who will be celebrating his 31st birthday in 2018.

Many current players will surely be fit for Argentina’s next big challenge: Copa America – Chile 2015 (from 11 June – 4 July 2015).

And hence, the next manager should depend on them before he decides on one of the three options he has:
1- Build on the legacy of Sabella
2- Complete makeover
3- Face lift and enhancements

Whatever happens next, the big question is:

Who will keep on representing Argentina from the current squad members?

My next post may hold some expectations, but I may postpone it until the next manager’s name is announced.

On a final remark, and since Sabella’s resignation is not official yet, and in case he stayed as head coach, then it is normal to face him with the same questions above while adding one more aspect to his tactics: Have some balls.

questions about the future of argentina


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Attempts to Empathize with Messi and Argentina in the World Cup

The World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany is now another game that will haunt me forever.

Argentina had better chances – or actually gifts from the German defenders – to score, but it was exactly what Gary Lineker said one day: “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

Looking back at how Argentina performed throughout the tournament, it was a joy for the eye.

Well, if you were expecting the best forward players in the world to score 10 goals a game, then you were surely disappointed. Argentina played beautiful defence, whether you liked it or not. Before Sabella existed, Argentina never knew how to defend. Sabella did the best thing to ensure this squad makes it to the semi-finals – at least – for the first time in 24 years. He created a defensive system that I haven’t seen anything like it when it comes to the Argentina National Team. He knew his team’s weaknesses and worked hard to turn them into strength. Sabella succeeded in doing so, and showed extraordinary skills crafting the system he played with during the tournament.

However, while paying extra attention to the defence – which, again, was the only way to make it to the semi-finals – Sabella undermined the super attack he had and disengaged the midfield from the front line. He only depended on Messi to do what Messi wanted to do. Messi in return, scored half the team’s goals and created many others. He sacrificed himself for the team and always had 2 or 3 defenders from the opposition trying to take him down. He did not sit in the attack and waited for balls that will never reach him but rather sat deep in the second third of the pitch and created something out of nothing. He may have disappeared in the semi-final match, and in the second half of the final match, too, but he was instrumental why Argentina reached a World Cup Final for the first time in 24 years.

Brazil Soccer WCup Argentina Bosnia

The “disappearance” of Messi resulted in anger by the fans when he was handed the tournament’s best player. I was the first to slaughter Messi and refute the choice, but I was wrong to an extent. I forgot the golden rule that humans should not make statements or take action when under any kind of extreme emotional influence.

To be fair with Messi we should list the following:

  • Messi was over pressurized by media, fans, and everyone to win the World Cup on his own. He was asked to be a god.
  • Comparisons with Maradona were the only thing he ever heard; to the extent he forgot his own name.
  • Muscular burnout and fatigue were obvious to the eye but we decided to overlook them. He was vomiting all over the pitch, in the Final, while we were criticizing him.
  • Without Messi’s goals, Argentina would have earned only 2 points in the Group Stage and left the competition early. That’s how Argentina is weak, even though the opponents were mediocre teams at that stage.
  • Messi was given the role of the leader and he only accepted it so as not to be faced with treason. He never led a squad by his spirit or presence and always depended on his performance and goals to gain popularity.
  • Aguero, Higuain, and some others did not play well, but were not criticized as heavily as was Messi.
  • Sabella chose Gago to sit in the playmaker role, and both failed miserably, while Pastore and some other names could have done a better and much needed job.
  • Lavezzi played a great first half against Germany, but it will remain unknown why he was subbed off at halftime.

Messi was made the scapegoat when Argentina failed to win the Final. Fact is: If Argentina won, no one would even care about the physical and mental state of Messi.

lionel messi after the world cup final loss to germany

I am disappointed that Argentina did not win, and sort of confused if I should celebrate the best tournament achievement in 24 years or retreat in tears.

But what I am sure of is that I am worried about Messi. Is Messi’s body failing him? Is he mentally obsessed with stuff we do not know? Is he stuffed with titles and trophies that he doesn’t have anything to play for anymore? Did he lose passion for the ball? He needs to be checked by a psychologist, physiotherapist, and every possible doctor alive.

Between 2008 and 2014, Messi gave us some mesmerizing football. We should be thankful for that. For the better of the game, and for our own benefit, let us hope that he gives us at least four more years of extraordinary displays and plenty of goals.

FC Barcelona: The Necessary Renovation

The following article is fictional, and you have been warned.

It is not the end of the season yet, and nothing has been decided too, but since Barcelona is among the biggest clubs worldwide, everyone has a rumor to share.

The whole story stated with the appointment of Tata Martino. Since day one, the Argentinean coach has been caught up with uncomfortable situations, times, decisions, fights, and management issues. He was not brought to manage the club but was assigned to become the scapegoat of a history of troubles at Camp Nou.

Whether Tata stays or leaves an overhaul is needed and is happening soon.

The main story and the core of the change is the one and only Lionel Messi. The Argentine ‘wannabe’ legend is unsettled and is keeping everyone eagerly waiting his next decision. In a nutshell, it is all about money. He wants an enhanced contract that would confirm his status as the highest paid figure in the industry of football. Negotiations with Barcelona are ongoing for a seventh renewal of his contract, while his father and business manager are conducting behind the scenes meetings with the richest club owners in the world. The current renewal negotiations of his contract dictate a 20 million dollar yearly salary until the year 2019. Looking back at the history of Messi’s contract we find out that it started in the year 2005 with the first version. Three months down the line and after his great performance against Juventus, Messi’s contract was enhanced and tied up. In January 2007 it was renewed until 2014 with a buyout clause of 150 million euros. In 2008 a salary enhancement was imposed where he started earning 8.5 million euros a year. In September 2009 the contract was extended to 2016 with a yearly salary of 11 million euros and a buyout clause of 250 millions. Last but not least, and in February 2013, it was amended to include an extension until 2016 and a yearly earning of 16 million euros.

As for the other players, there are several names who showed interest in joining the club and many who were rumored to be on the wish list of the current management – that is if Zubizarreta and Bartomeu stayed.

The list includes every good performing defender around the world and any promising talent that was highlighted throughout this season by any media agency or delusional source.

As to the ones who are to be offloaded, there are three types of those. First there are the expired ones like Puyol, Valdes and Pinto. Second, there are the unneeded like Dos Santos, Afellay, Oier Olazabal, Cuenca, Sergi Roberto and Tello. Third, there are the freeloaders who need to move on with their careers away from the club and the list is long. It includes Mascherano, Song, Alexis, Adriano, Alves, Cesc, and to an extent Pedro.

Moving on to the manager and the coaching staff, Tata might be leaving because he cannot manage the dark side of the Catalan club. Luis Enrique is already meeting his ex-teammates and is showing willingness to guide the wandering ship back on the right track, with Puyol as his assistant.

The Good Old Days

The Good Old Days

Finally, a couple of confirmed names are joining. Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Alen Halilovic both have preliminary agreements with the clubs and will be the first to feature as the new faces for a new era at Camp Nou.

The moral of the stories around Barcelona and the changes needed is that change is needed. Many may leave and others will stay.

The real stuff can be summed up by:

  • Tata should stay but should also be given the freedom he needs; or
  • A manager with a strong personality should be hired instead, to deploy new tactics rather than getting enslaved to the current system
  • Messi should grow up or leave
  • Defenders should be bought, Xavi’s heirs should be hired, and real strikers should be signed
  • Zubizarreta and Bartomeu are the source of too much evil and Laporta may be the right man to replace them

Messi out for between 6 and 8 weeks

Messi will not play again in 2013

Leo Messi has a torn hamstring muscle in his left thigh and is expected to miss the next 6 to 8 weeks. The first phase of Messi’s recovery will be covered in Barcelona and he will then travel to Buenos Aires.

Messi was substituted on 19 minutes of the Betis- Barça game on 10 November 2013. The game was Messi’s 16th game of the season, during which he has scored 14 goals.

This is Messi’s third injury this season, on August 21st in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Atletico Madrid, he suffered a bruised thigh which kept him out for a week and then against Almeria on September 28th, he suffered a small muscle tear in his right thigh which kept him on the sidelines for three weeks.

Messi Injured Again - And It is good if he used it to rest before Brazil 2014

Messi Injured Again – And It is good if he used it to rest before Brazil 2014

Messi has had a string of similar injuries in 2012-2013 season. He was forced to sit out much of the tail end of last season with a hamstring problem. As a result of his injury, Messi is likely to miss the games against Granada, Ajax, Celtic, Villarreal and Getafe, as well as both legs of the Copa del Rey clash with Cartagena.

The bigger result of the injury is seeing Cristiano Ronaldo (or maybe Franck Ribéry – for political reasons) crowned as the best in the world and the winner of the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’OR.

Lionel Messi Spends a Red Night with a Stripper

Messi has allegedly been spotted in a strip club in Las Vegas

Lionel Messi has reported back to action with his club FC Barcelona after a busy summer playing charity games and  spending some quality time with his son Thiago, girlfriend Antonella, and Cesc Fabregas and Daniella. 

Yet, Argentina’s Pronto magazine published some pictures that will surely make the headlines for sometimes. The photos feature Messi in a strip club in Las Vegas while he is having some good time with a stripper. The photos are not that clear and they might be photoshoped or fake. They were taken, and as per the magazine, after the ‘Messi and Friends’ charity game in Chicago.

Genuine or not, these photos will add to Messi’s recent woes of tax fraud accusations. However, they are just a proof that Messi is following the steps of Maradona. Some main components are missing though; drugs a world cup and beating the press.

Messi with a Stripper in Las Vegas

Whether he is with a stripper, Antonella or Thiago, Lionel Messi is surely spending quality time

Lionel Messi’s Son

Lionel Messi is having some quality moments with his family. He just posted his picture with his son Thiago and his girlfriend Antonella Rocuzzo.
He captioned the photo saying “Afternoon stroll with Thiago”.

Lionel Messi is currently not 100% fit and may miss the next couple of matches for Barcelona after risking his injury again when he participated in the second half against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.


Lionel Messi Should NOT Play Against P$G

There are a lot of rumors about the ability, readiness, and sanity of Lionel Messi’s participation in the second leg game of the Champions League quarter-finals stage against Paris Saint-Germain.

I am not a doctor, but maybe you are an armchair one. He should not play this game even if the medical team gave him the green light or the go-ahead to. The math is simple:

  • This is only Paris Saint-Germain
  • The away first-leg result is not a bad one
  • The team played a magnificent match without him over the weekend
  • He never took rest
  • An injured player should not be rushed back into action
  • Risking Messi’s career is at stake
  • One match and one season lost are not as important as a forced early retirement

Barcelona need Messi. Messi cannot stay off the pitch. The world loves seeing him. Yet, I ask the guardian angels of football to insert some logic in Messi’s head and persuade him against playing.

Messi said on his Facebook page: "I will return soon, thankfully it was not so serious." Let us hope soon is not 10 April, for his own sake.

Messi said on his Facebook page: “I will return soon, thankfully it was not so serious.” Let us hope soon is not 10 April, for his own sake.

Messi vs Robot Goalkeeper

Japanese Goalkeeper challenges Lionel Messi

Japan always amazes us with new necessary and unnecessary innovations and experiments.

Japanese... enough said!

Japanese… enough said!

Here is the latest experiment featuring Lionel Messi and a robot goalkeeper. I have no idea why it was done or on whose behalf, but it is enjoyable to watch.



A Fortuneteller Predicted Messi’s Injury

Michel Hayek said on 31 December 2012, that Messi will be injured

For those who are not from Lebanon or who do not know who Michel Hayek is, he is “The Millennium Nostradamus”. He is a fortuneteller from Lebanon, renown worldwide for his ability to tell the future and high accuracy.

Michel Hayek makes one appearance per year on live TV, on New Year’s Eve, where he reveals his predictions, forecasts and expectations. On 31 December, 2012, I was watching him and he ended Part 2 of his predictions with a catch phrase: “I am worried about Messi’s foot.”

Michel Hayek Predicted Messi's Injury

Michel Hayek Predicted Messi’s Injury

When I heard that prediction I got angry and wanted it to be among the failed predictions. I even wrote about it at that time, hating him in public in case it came true. When Messi got injured against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-finals stage I had one idea in mind: Where can I find Michel Hayek to [insert damaging action here]?

Here is the video published by MTV Lebanon TV Channel and edited by myself.

Gold replica of Messi’s Left Foot on Sale in Japan [with VIDEO]

A solid gold replica of Lionel Messi’s left foot, complete with blood vessels and the swirls of skin on the bottom of the toes, was created from a mold of his left foot by Ginza Tanaka – the retailer of precious metals accessories in Asakusa, Tokyo.

The 25 kilogram statue is worth $5.25 million and is due to go on sale on Thursday, 7 March, 2013, along with a number of miniature versions and a solid gold plate of Messi’s footprint, in Tokyo, Japan. [Click HERE for the VIDEO]

Triple Gold

Triple Gold

Part of the profits from the sale will go to help people affected by the quake and tsunami that hit Japan two years ago, on Monday, 11 March, 2013, through the Leo Messi Foundation – a charity run by the Messi family.

The Man with the Golden Foot

The Man with the Golden Foot


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