Leo Messi helped Argentina take a step forward in their bid to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. That may seem like a clear contradiction, but his appearance in front of the media after the painful defeat to Brazil was a way of looking for a reaction.
His message, transparent and clear, had various destinations. The first, his teammates, who he said are in the shit. Then the fans, who he said the team need more than ever right now. And finally to the press, who he told that despite the criticism, the group is more united than ever.
Messi offered a sincere and honest opinion of the Albiceleste’s feelings, but also sent a message of optimism, noting that the situation is reversible, given Argentina still depend on themselves to qualify for the World Cup in two years.
The first person to believe in their teammates and their capacity to respond is Leo. The best thing is there’s an opportunity to respond next Tuesday and to return to the qualification places. A win against James Rodriguez’s Colombia will move things in the right direction with six matches, as complicated and demanding as they are, still to play.
Many Argentines will remember that Argentina qualified for Mexico 1986 through the skin of their teeth. In the end, Diego Maradona helped them win it.
Thirty years later, Argentina are having difficulties again and their star has fronted up. Messi’s taken the first step, showing his face, speaking for 15 minutes and sending a clear message. Now, it’s up to the fans. San Juan waits for Argentine with open arms…