Catalan sports paper Sport today carried an article about FC Barcelona forward, Messi’s return to Argentina to join the EL Albiceleste in their crucial World Cup-2010 qualifying matches against Peru and Uruguay.
The paper says Messi arrives at night, almost undisclosed and in a country preoccupied with unfortunate demise of their beloved folk-singer Mercedes Sosa, it is not a familiar sight for a man who is going to lead his team to fight for a place in the next World Cup. The whole of Argentina, though his arrival does not prove it, knows it is the Blaugrana striker who is one of the few people capable of changing the negative dynamics of the team led by their God, Diego Armando Maradona. Once everything is settled, no one doubts that the fans will turn their attention again towards the El Albiceleste, fighting for a World Cup berth. Failure to do so will cause a major crisis in Argentine football, a scenario unfathomable to anybody, no less to Messi.
Argentina’s last defeats against Brazil (0 – 3) and Paraguay (2 – 0) left them in a critical situation. In fact, in the South America group standings, they are currently placed fifth, outside the last automatic qualification spot, one point behind Ecuador. The danger for Argentina, determined by the outcome of these last two matches, is not only in not making it to the automatic qualification spot but also losing out their current play-off spot to Uruguay, who are currently a point adrift. Argentina is in a ‘must-win’ situation and in that sense everyone expects Messi to be the hope for a side that needs the inspiration and the genius of the Blugrana Canterano.