Messi Fuels Argentina’s Dream Of A Third World Cup Title

By Dialogo
January 08, 2009

Any time Leo Messi displays his enormous talent on the field, the Argentinians’ dream of ‎winning their third World Cup title seems closer to reality. ‎ In support of Leo Messi’s brilliance, the “albiceleste" fans prepare their drums and cheer ‎chants aimed at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.‎ With Diego Armando Maradona in the audience, Messi did his latest stellar performance on ‎Tuesday at the Vicente Calderon Stadium when he scored two goals for his team, Barcelona, leading them to a 3-1 win against the locals, in the final round of the Copa del ‎Rey. ‎ The performance of the soccer player, who is in his twenties, received a great deal of ‎acclaim in the media. When the “future king”, as Maradona calls Messi, was leaving the ‎field, the fans from Atletico Madrid cheered his name the same way they do when their ‎idol, Sergio “Kun” Agüero, displays his high quality soccer technique. ‎ However, on Tuesday, “Kun” was unable to play despite Maradona being in attendance. ‎ Nobody in Argentina believes in any sort of rivalry between the two young talents. Messi is ‎considered a first-team player in Maradona's opinion and “Kun” will have to fight for a spot ‎with other forwards. ‎ The leadership of Messi’s is now indisputable. The Argentinians remember Maradona’s ‎outstanding performance in the 1986 World Cup, and are looking for similarities. If Messi ‎continues excelling his form, the title in the final, on July 11th at the Soccer City of ‎Johannesburg, is in reach . ‎ Is it too much responsibility for a soccer player, who in the World Cup will only be 23 ‎years-old, to carry on not only the load of the team, but to also live up to the demanding ‎history of Argentine soccer?‎ Maradona was 25 when he won the title in 1986. When he was 17, he wanted to be part of ‎Argentina’s World Cup in 1978; however, César Luis Menotti gave him one of the worst ‎blows of his career when he did not name him and the national team won its first title. At ‎the age of 21, he played in the 1982 World Cup, but Argentina was defeated by Italy and ‎Brazil in the second round. ‎ Comparing similar cases, Pelé lived through glory of his first world title in Sweden in 1958, ‎when he was 17. Brazil defeated the host nation 5-2. Two of the goals were scored by Pelé; ‎the first one being an amazing combination of “a flip kick” and volley, which paved his ‎way to success. ‎ Messi made his debut in the 2006 World Cup on June 16th in Germany, eight days before ‎turning 19. It was an explosive debut. He assisted in Hernán Crespo’s goal and scored ‎another one in defeating Serbia 6-0. ‎ He played as first-team player against the Netherlands (0-0) with both squads already ‎qualified for the round of 16. In the game against Mexico, Messi came on in the 83rd ‎minute but was left on the bench during the quarter-finals match against Germany. ‎Argentina lost on penalties.‎ José Pekerman, coach of the team at that time, must have thought that being so young and ‎small, Messi would not be able to battle against the tall and well-built teutons.‎ The extraordinary moves that the Barcelona player has been performing since then, his ‎amazing goals and the inability that rival defenders have to anticipate his swift dashes ‎towards the goal make it clear that Maradona won’t have Pekerman’s doubts. ‎ Maradona insists on taking care of the young talent. Take care of him as if he is gold, the ‎gold cloth that wraps Johannesburg's soil and the title that Argentinians hope to win on July ‎‎11th, 2010, with the help of the soccer player who is outstanding on the field and private ‎outside of it.‎
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