Out of all the big teams in the first two rounds few look as good as Argentina. Now perhaps they are peaking to soon and perhaps the team lacks the elite defense to battle the giants in the later rounds, but right at this moment of time few offensives are clicking the way Argentina is.
But one thing that really made me frown the other day following the stomping Maradona’s side put on South Korea 4-1 was that the ESPN commentators referred to the Barca star’s performance as just decent because he didn’t score a single goal. Sure in the box score Messi’s name was basically absent from the list and he still only has one career World Cup goal, but in reality the man willed his team to the dominant performance that they enjoyed and in the process he proved to the world one more time that he is the best player around right now.
Heading into the Cup many wise experts pointed to the fact that he plays at Barcelona and they are far superior in talent to any particular national team. But after one match so far this World Cup for most of that Barca lineup, we have discovered that Spain may be missing that critical goal scorer and Argentina’s offense has really taken off with Messi in the middle.
And the young man has already become legendary enough that Pele feels the need to verbally defend his crown as world’s greatest living player and his own legendary coach even claimed he is playing a kick-about with Jesus. But what is truly amazing is that an MVP that young (and admired by national legends) is considerate enough to be the unselfish player of his international team that distributes the ball. Messi didn’t score against South Korea, but he did set up a goal from about one foot away for Higuain off of the post and he also did force a defender into scoring an own goal on a nice chip into the box as well. Not to mention he made a critical run to help set up yet another Higuain goal.
Messi might not be a goal scorer this summer, but he certainly is responsible for creating them. And some journalist and TV personalities might not consider that as good as actually physically scoring the goals, but I will tell you one person that knows that Messi is the best around.
Mr. Hat Trick himself, Gonzalo Higuain.