No trophies, no Ballon d’Or and no La Liga’s Golden Boot for Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi. Some might say the little Argentinian magician has been under a bit of rare pressure during the 2014 campaign exemplified by his refusal to shake hands with Atletico players after losing the La Liga title decider.
In just a few weeks’ time, Lionel Messi will be heading into his third World Cup tournament and despite being labelled as arguably the greatest player of all time, Leo has a lot to prove on the international stage.
However, many experts are predicting that the 2014 World Cup will see him shine. Lionel Messi free bets indicate that he is favourite to secure the Golden Boot, whilst legends from across the globe are saying that it’s vital Messi performs if he is to secure the legendary status afforded to the likes of Zidane, Pele, and of course, Maradona.
To secure a place for himself in that category, Messi would surely need to walk out of the Marecana on July 13th adorned with a World Cup winner’s medal. Failing that, he must at the very least have a similar impact on the tournament reminiscent of what Roberto Baggio displayed in 1994, or Jurgen Klinsmann just four years before him.
Of course that should be no problem for the man who has scored over 220 goals in his last four seasons. And he’s got the players around him too. In recent times Messi has built a formidable partnership with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, which could prove lethal when they line up against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran in the Group Stage.
So far the 26-year-old has only scored one goal in the World Cup so he will certainly be wanting to put that right on his home continent this time around. And his fellow compatriot Ossie Ardiles is certain Leo would swap all his club success for a World Cup winner’s medal.
It may be that failure at Barca this season will spur him on? A trophy-less season is unprecedented in recent years for the three-time Ballon d’Or winner, so the World Cup seems the perfect platform to remedy it.
His talent is unquestionable, and with a period on the side-lines during the domestic campaign, he could well be fresher than many other of the star players at the tournament.
A fit, fresh and determined Messi mesmerising defenders after they have toiled away battling in domestic campaigns all season won’t appeal to many in the scorching heat of Brazil. And that’s why he’s likely to be shine.
Messi is of course one of the greats regardless of what happens this summer. He’s come out and said he’ll reach his peak in Rio, and with him surrounded by world-class talent, Argentina could go all the way. In 30 years’ time we might look back fondly and remember a magical Messi moment, just like we have done with that other brilliant Argentine. What was his name?