We all know how dangerous Lionel Messi is. We all know how determinant Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, and Carlos Tevez can be. We all know the team’s weakest spot is the defense. It’s weak if compare it to the offensive quality, but Argentina has many young defenders playing all over Europe and even South America that can fill those spots.
Since Sabella took over back in 2011 after Argentina’s failure in La Copa America, he’s been taking chances with young players and older and experienced players who he knows can get the job done, such as Federico Fernandez, Leandro Desabato, and Rodrigo Braña, among others.
Nothing was missing, but there was something wrong. Having Lionel Messi as a player and as the team’s captain is something that most other national teams would like to have. However, he has not been used the right way. Just like Messi once said to the press, “Without my teammates, I wouldn’t be what I am today”, referring to his Barcelona teammates. This is very true. Messi will be a great player wherever he plays, he’ll do wonders, and continue to amaze fans all over the world. The difference between the Messi in Argentina and the Messi in Barcelona is that in Barcelona he is just another player from the equation that leads to the team’s success, whereas in Argentina (at least until Sabella took over) he was the equation. As most soccer fans have witnessed throughout the last four years, Barcelona has changed the game. Regardless of who played and who was on the bench, the style of play was always the same one. Players such as Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets, Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, and Messi are all top class players and they can all change the course of a game due to their individual skill. Still, they’ve realized how much of a stronger weapon they are when playing as a team.
Argentineans can have hope and expectations going into the 2014 World Cup. The team has already shown improvements, as they defeated Colombia in Colombia, in what was a true test to the team, given Colombia’s quality and strength, especially when playing in Colombia. Personally, I think Sabella has the guts to leave ‘the best players’ on the bench as long as it is the best/smartest decision for the team.
If Argentina starts playing as a team and getting the best out of each of the players, they’ll become a much stronger team, a very hard one to stop from winning.