Lionel Messi, no longer the forlorn figure of the South American qualifiers, might have been back with the under-20s such was his influence and sheer enjoyment in Argentina’s opening World Cup match.
Reuters Soccer Blog
If it hadn’t been for Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, the 1-0 defeat to Argentina could have been much worse for the African side. That is one reason why the Nigerian supporter contingent, even if outnumbered by the Argentinian fans, remained upbeat throught the match.
Lionel Messi’s hat-trick for Barcelona last weekend has once again sparked the debate in Argentina over his indifferent form for his country.
After the century of call-ups and largely meaningless tests against mediocre opposition in friendlies, not to mention the lack of direction in the qualifiers, talent and form look set to win out in the race for places in Argentina’s World Cup squad.
Diego Maradona is in danger of demeaning as a coach the light blue and white Argentine stripes he graced and worshipped as a player.