Not to vary, in the most important duel for Argentina in the group stage of Qatar 2022, the VAR was present. Lionel Messi he jumped to shoot and Poland’s goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny hit him in the face. He was not marked at first but the video assistant arrived. Rigorous or not, the penalty was marked in favor of Argentina and there was only one person in charge to collect it, number 10. The Pole endorsed his heroism and saved the legend from a penalty.
Messi, that almighty, on whom Argentina’s hopes rest, failed. When 10 had to appear he did not and he relived all those moments in which he was called “cold chest”. He sent the shot to the right side of the goal, but a saving hand prevented the ball from going into the net.
Another missed penalty in another important game, it seems that it is no longer a coincidence. What is remarkable is the performance of Szczęsny, who endorsed the myth around Messi and the shots from 11 steps; and the courage of the Argentine players, who they took out the caste for their captain.
His teammates had to come to pick him up, open the lock of the Polish goalkeeper and give the first score to the Argentine National Team. Alexis MacAllister was responsible for putting the 1 to 0 in favor of the champions of America and Julian Alvarez scored the second.
It is perhaps this moment in which the pressure for the star is not like before. Now his teammates are answering for him, because that’s football, a team game.
Yes, the Argentine 10 cannot be reproached for anything. He has done everything and more for the jerseys he has championed. He led the Albiceleste to win the 2021 Copa América and has built a unique career.
But you don’t have to play blind either. Penalties and Messi don’t have the best relationship of all. He has missed key shots and such a condition could work against him in the future of this World Cup.
Russia 2018: In the group stage, he missed a shot against Iceland. The game was tied 1-1 and that goal would represent taking the lead and the three points.
Centenary America Cup: It is perhaps the most remembered of all. During the final of the tournament against Chile, Messi sent the first shot of the round into the stands, compromising the emotional state of his team, and they were unable to lift the Cup.
Round of 16 of the Champions League 2021: With PSG he was also wrong. They were measured against Real Madrid and in the first leg game they blundered from 11 steps. That goal represented 1-0 in favor of the Parisians.
Lionel Messi can breathe, for now. His failure did not represent the downfall of his country. But, he will have to correct in his next phases, especially since there will be a moment in which he and only he will be responsible. And with the demands of the Argentine fans, anything that is not the Cup will be a failure.