Lionel Messi played another important finale with Argentina, and again lost. He has played in World Cup finale with Argentina and lost, and now in Copa America, where he again lost. Given that Messi rarely lost a finale while playing for Barcelona, one must wonder what is different when playing for Argentina.
In the next couple of paragraphs I am going to show you just why Lionel Messi can’t win trophies with Argentina, but can win them with Barcelona
Lionel Messi has different teammates in Argentina squad. It looks kind of dumb to mention it, but the fact is that Lionel Messi has been playing with practically the same teammates at Barcelona for more than a decade. This means that Messi knows exactly how his teammates are going to play, which gives Messi an edge while playing against opposition. Its not the same while playing with Argentina.
Its true that Messi has been playing for Argentina national team for about 10 years now, but he plays for Argentina just a couple of games every year. I mean he has played overall 103 games for Argentina, while he played 482 games for Barcelona. There is a big difference. You could basically say that Messi is playing 4 times better for Barcelona, and he probably is, looking at the stats.
Different teammates simply mean that Messi can’t play for Argentina as good as he is playing for Barcelona.
MESSI IS PERFECT FOR BARCELONA, BUT NOT FOR ARGENTINA
The fact is that Lionel Messi is perfect for Barcelona, while he is not perfect for Argentina. This is because he has been playing Barcelona style for most of his career, while Argentina are playing with a different style. Barcelona style is based on constant possession, with really fantastic playmakers.
Argentina plays on quality of individual players like Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, etc. Its up to individual quality to move Argentina forward, while at Barcelona its more of a collective thing.
Lionel’s playing style is perfect for Barcelona. Messi is basically the tipping point for Barcelona’s success in recent years. While he is merely and added value at Argentina. This difference shows in reaching a finale and winning a finale. He has won most of the finals while playing for Barcelona, but he has lost every finale while playing for Argentina, and I don’t think this is going to change in the future.
MESSI CAN’T DO EVERYTHING BY HIMSELF
When you watch Barcelona, you usually get the felling that Lionel Messi is winning games all by himself, which is very far from the truth. The style and other players in Barcelona help Lionel Messi to score as many goals as he likes. The fact is the Lionel Messi has the most shots at Barcelona, similar to Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Both players are superstars in their clubs, and both players have the most freedom in their game at their clubs.
In Argentina its more difficult for Messi. He doesn’t have the same freedom like he has at Barcelona. He must usually play as a creative hub, which is not his main strength. That’s also the reason why its much more easy to stop Messi while he plays for Argentina, than Barcelona.
Lionel Messi is the best dribbler for the past couple of years, but still its very difficult to dribble more than one person at a time. Most of dribbles Messi does are one on one, I think that there were just 4 dribbles where he managed to dribble past 4 people. This means that individually Messi simply isn’t that strong as one might think.
ARGENTINA LACK PLAYMAKERS
Barcelona has (had) the two of the best playmakers ever in Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. They rarely made a bad pass, and they were involved in practically every Barcelona move. This made Barcelona game fluid, and helped Lionel Messi to flourish.
In Argentina there is no one like that. You have Mascherano, Banega, and Biglia, which are all defensive midfielders. Di Maria, and Pastore aren’t playmakers, they are more wingers than playmakers. This all means that Lionel Messi simply can’t get the delivery he gets at Barcelona. This is also the reason why Messi usually has to play like playmaker in Argentina, because there is simply no other player that could do the job.
Because Messi has to play as a playmaker he can’t score that many goals, and isn’t as visible as he is while playing for Barcelona.
To sum up, Lionel Messi can’t win trophies with Argentina, because he has different teammates, he isn’t perfect for Argentina, he can’t do everything by himself, and because Argentina lack playmakers. Its hard to see anything changing for Argentina in the future. Some are suggesting that Messi is going to stop playing for Argentina, but I seriously doubt that. There is another Copa America next year, which would again give chance to Messi to win something with Argentina, but given the past, it could prove another heartbreak for Argentina and Lionel Messi.