In today’s Game Breakers feature Soccer Laduma takes a look at Lionel Messi, arguably one of the two best footballers of our generation.
The Argentina captain, has experienced a difficult season at Camp Nou. First plagued by injuries and later characterized by him failing to impact the big games.
Messi failed to score in Barcelona’s Champions League exit and the La Liga final against Atletico Madrid as well as in the Copa del Rey final defeat to Real.
However, he still has immense quality and many expect him to lead Argentina to World Cup glory in Brazil.
In 2006, he became his country’s youngest participant as well as scorer at football’s biggest stage, and many expected him to take a leading role in both previous World Cups.
Since 2010, Messi wears the famous number one shirt and tries to emulate Argentina legend, Diego Maradona, who led his country to its last World Cup triumph in 1986.
But Messi only scored this one goal in Argentina’s 6-0 over Serbia and Montenegro in 2006. Only 18 years old in 2006 and 22 in 2010, he wasn’t able to live up to the expectations on his shoulders.
Argentina dropped out in the quarter-final in both previous editions, but are again amongst the favourites in Brazil and Messi is again expected to lead the lines.
He has proved that he can shine for his country, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-3 friendly match victory over Argentina’s arch-rivals Brazil in 2012.
In addition, he ended the 2014 World Cup qualification as second-top scorer in the South American section. His ten goals were only bettered by Luis Suarez who scored 11.
In Argentina’s final World Cup build-up match against Slovenia, Messi came on as a substitute and scored his first goal for his national side in the year 2014.
Can he add a couple more in Brazil? We will see.
Argentina have arguably been drawn in one of the easier groups and open their tournament against Bosnia and Herzegownia on 15 June.
Do you think Lionel Messi will be Argentina’s game breaker in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.