If you are a football fan, you don’t want to see another disappointment on the face of Lionel Messi. And, that disappointment couldn’t be bigger if Argentina loses out FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 berth today. It would be a shame for the last world cup finalist to not qualify for Russia 2018, who boasts of the world’s best player in their team, and abundance of talent around him. Argentina will have to prove all wrong – High altitude, high intensity and adversity against Ecuador to at least book their place in play-offs.
We have heard stories about “adversity brings out the best in you”. It’s time for La Albiceleste to prove it. It’s never easy for a team with low morale to visit a high altitude country and register a victory against all odds, but Argentina will have to do it.
Everything has gone wrong since Argentina loses out against Germany in 2014 World Cup final. They lost two back to back Copa America finals, Lionel Messi decided to take retirement from international football for a brief period, and here they are on verge of elimination for the next World Cup.
It’s not the best time to think all about this, but Argentina do need a makeover. They must give rest to their mind and allow their heart to pump up to face Ecuador in high altitude environment in Quito. What if they have won only once in Quito, they should take pride in that victory as it took them to World Cup finals.
La Nacion columnist Pablo Vignone noted, “everything could have gone wrong has gone worse; everything that could have been done badly has been done lousily.”
Yes, misfortunes happened with Argentina, but AFA didn’t respond in a better way and new managers haven’t learned from the past mistakes. AFA president has been changed, three managers have been replaced and 42 players become part of the La Albiceleste selection for the single CONMEBOL qualifications.
Argentina has world class talents and they should take pride in it, but you need to manage your talent as well. A team includes 11 player on pitch, which means Argentina have three substitutions for each player and it’s good enough to downgrade a player’s morale who is already in the team. He doesn’t get enough time to make camaraderie with his teammates and it reflects in their performances.
Jorge Sampaoli is Argentina’s third coach in CONMEBOL qualification, and he still doesn’t understand the problem. He has used four different center-forward in his four matches in charge, he has forced talented Paulo Dybala to sit outside because he couldn’t fix a place for him alongside Messi. Although, ball distribution has improved under his management and we witnessed it against Peru.
Luck hasn’t been in Argentina’s favor for quite sometimes, but it’s time to fight against the odds. The nation couldn’t rest and eager to give a pat on back to their heroes, it’s just heroes need to come up with a performance in Quito which leave the past behind.
A victory may earn them the direct qualification to Russia 2018, depending on others’ result, otherwise play-off berth will be fine. The world doesn’t want to watch a World Cup missing out the best footballer on planet.