Does Lionel Messi end the GOAT debate with the Copa America 2021 trophy in his bag
After the World Cup final defeat in 2014 and two consecutive Copa America defeats in 2015 and 2016, Argentina have finally got their hands on a major trophy after 28 years. And leading the side to victory has been the little magician, Lionel Messi, who has been a subject to criticism each and every time Argentina have failed to deliver.
But the man from Rosario, Argentina, has finally silenced all his critics with an amazing display of football throughout the Copa America 2021 campaign as he grabbed the best player and the top scorer awards too. The Barcelona forward, who can do no wrong to the game of football is once again back to his very peak and has successfully placed the trophy in his cabinet, which he had dreamt of since he was a kid.
Does Lionel Messi finally end the GOAT debate?
Lionel Messi, gifted with a heavenly left foot, has been at the top of his game for more than a decade. But Cristiano Ronaldo’s late rise had seen an unreal increase in his followers and many believe that the Portuguese is the best player on the planet. But the might of Lionel Messi cannot be undone so easily. The player, who has won almost every trophy in his illustrious career has now certainly put an end to the ‘Greatest of all Time’ debate.
Despite Messi leaving his blood and sweat on the field every time he featured for Argentina, he is constantly compared to Diego Maradona, who guided The Albiceleste to a World Cup victory in 1986. Lionel’s stature is highly judged by his international performance though he has proved time and again that the nation has produced none better than him. Messi played an emphatic role in Argentina’s World Cup campaign in 2014 as he scored in all the group matches.
He dodged past the defenders against Switzerland to provide the assist for Angel di Maria to score the winner in the round of 16. Not only this, he was highly influential in the build-up of the Gonzalo Higuain goal against Belgium too in the quarter-final. The man scored the first penalty in the shootout against the Netherlands in the semi-final and created the maximum number of chances for Argentina in the final against Germany as well.
Talking of the 2018 campaign, Argentina were on the verge of not making it to the World cup and found them in a do-or-die match against Ecuador to qualify. Ecuador scored early in the qualifying game and Argentina were staring at elimination. But once again, it was the 34-year-old beast who scored three goals to shoulder his nation to the World Cup finals. His achievements speak volumes about his greatness but people find a way to take a dig whenever Argentina are humiliated.
Coming to the technical part, the greatness of Lionel Messi is such that even after scoring 750 senior goals for club and country, he is not best remembered for his finishing. He is known for the magic he produces on the field and the joy he brings to the face of the supporters. To understand a player like Messi, one needs to analyze football deeply. The prolific Argentine is not only a goal scorer but he makes all the players around him look better than they are. He helps them score, he helps them bring out their best, and most importantly Messi does not need to give a speech to motivate others. His presence is a phenomenal boost for his teammates that provokes them to perform at a higher level than they actually do.
And now finally when Messi has filled the lonely corner of his cabinet, this debate should end once and for all. There would be many prolific goalscorers like Cristiano Ronaldo and others who would come up the ranks but as David Beckham said just before the Copa America 2021 final:
“Lionel Messi’s talent will take another century to be discovered.”