diego maradona

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Is Lionel Messi losing it?

Is Lionel Messi losing it?

The charismatic Argentinean first head-butted his Roma opponent, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, and then grabbed him by the throat. Barcelona won 3-0

The usually cool-as-cucumber Messi has been red-carded just once in his international career—on his debut.

The Barca player escaped with a warning from the referee this time.

What is going on?

The Argentinean wasn’t exactly pleased with his performances during the Copa America where his team came close to winning the title only to lose to hosts Chile in the final.

This is the second time Messi has missed out on much-coveted silverware while representing his country. The first was the 2014 World Cup when Argentina drew a blank against Germany in the title round.

The reaction in the Argentine press has not been complimentary with questions about his greatness as a player and commitment to the national squad surfacing.

This despite the diminutive genius being adjudged the best player in both tournaments. There is no doubt that Messi is the best player on the planet.

Is he meeting his own exalted standards and expectations?

Diego Maradona was swift to launch a broadside at Messi’s feats in the South American tourney.

He said:

“It’s logical to fall, it is easy. We have the best player in the world, one who can go and score four goals on Real Sociedad and then he comes here and doesn’t score at all. You would say, but man, are you Argentine or Swedish? We need to stop busting on the folks who say that we should baby Messi. Messi needs to be treated just like we treat all the other players who put on the national team uniform. He is the best in the world, for better or worse. But look, he didn’t kill or rape anyone. Let’s not turn this into a soap opera.”

Messi’s grandfather, Antonio Cuccitini, was even more caustic.

He said:

“Some of him was there. Triumphs are the greatest things there are. But the last three games he was bad. He was lazy.”

More recently, the Human Rights Foundation criticized Messi for hobnobbing with abusers of children’s rights.

Messi laid the foundation stone for a venue for the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 together with Gabon dictator Ali Bongo.

France Football claimed that he was paid 2.4 million GBP to make the trip.

Human Rights Foundation President Thor Halvorssen said:

“In providing PR services to Gabon’s Bongo family, Lionel Messi has seriously undermined the credibility of his own charitable foundation. Whereas Messi claims to support children’s rights, and even serves as a UNICEF ambassador to promote youth education, he has endorsed a kleptocratic regime that refuses to investigate the ritual murder of children in Gabon.Messi’s trip is part of the Bongo family’s PR campaign to promote the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, which Gabon will host at enormous expense despite the fact that the Bongo family’s embezzlement has left 20 per cent of the population to live on less than $2 per day.”

Is it all adding to the pressure on the AlbiCeleste forward?

Or is this latest incident merely an aberration, a blot on a stellar record?

Still waters run deep.

Are we witnessing a rebirth of Messi as a firebrand on the field?

The speculation continues.



Will Lionel Messi ever be considered great like Maradona or Pele?

Is Lionel Messi ever going to win a major title as an Argentine?

Two Copa America finals, one World Cup final and yet the cupboard is bare.

He may be the finest player of his generation but his national team is not. At least, not yet.

Accompanied by the Galacticos of Barcelona, the magician with the ball is almost invincible.

He does not enjoy the same support alongside his fellow countrymen.

What are the reasons for this relatively poor show?

It is relative because for his showings at the above named tournaments, the young man captured two player and one young player of the tournament awards.

Hardly, what you’d term a no show.

Comparisons to Pele and Maradona will always fall short if the 28-year-old genius fails to capture a major international title.

It was, perhaps, easier for Pele. Club football did not take up most of the players’ time in those days.

Maradona , though , is another kettle of fish. He catapulted a small club side, Napoli, to two Serie A titles and another couple of runner-up finishes.

Argentina, of course, won the 1986 World Cup under him and made another stalwart run for the title in 1990 losing to Germany in the final.

Is Lionel Messi finished as a Argentine midfielder?

It would be a pity if it were so as media reports suggest.

Messi has his best chance to fill his trophy case at the 2018 World Cup in Russia—provided he keeps himself healthy and fit. He will be even more experienced and hopefully at the peak of his career.

The mind boggles—you mean to say Messi can get even better?

It helps even more if his teammates do.

A freely roaming Messi can do more damage than a Messi who is man-marked by not one, not two but three defenders.

What would Argentina not give to have strikers of the caliber of Neymar and Suarez alongside their talisman?

Unfortunately, national soccer is not club soccer and throwing money at a problem does not make it go away. The ethos of teamwork assumes salient importance.

Messi himself once said:

I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else. I’m more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with? When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy.

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s what John Wooden has to say about teams:

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

Messi will not be great until his bench-mates make him great.

Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Diego Maradona. Dame 5, amigo!

Diego Maradona Has Unwelcome Medical Advice For Pele

What he said:

"It seems Pele took the wrong medication."

Diego Maradona takes issue with Pele’s remarks that Brazilian teenager, Neymar, is as good as Maradona or Lionel Messi.

In an interview with Programa do Jô on Globo, Pele said (via SambaFoot):

They talk about Maradona and Messi, but we have Neymar – he is a great talent to have.

Santos is a factory of stars, creating several players without spending anything. It is a lucky team.

Pele advised the Santos forward to become smarter and stronger on the pitch.

It’s not about fighting back, it is about learning to defend himself.

He is very skilled, he is the best player on the team, so of course will be marked. He has to learn to defend himself.

Maradona, reacting to Pele’s comments, said (via Times Of India):

Instead of taking his night pill, he took the morning pill. He got confused and didn’t know what he was talking about … I suggest next time he take the right pills before making any suggestions and that he should change his doctor.

What he really meant:

“If I’m not the greatest footballer ever, it must be Messi. Anything else is heresy.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I know exactly what to do about ‘foot-in-the-mouth’ syndrome. It’s my bete noire. ”


Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Diego Maradona watching the Germany-Sweden qua...

Diego Maradona Recommends Comedy To Unsettled Fans

What he said:

“If you are scared then don’t come and watch. You can stay at home and watch a comedy on DVD. Football is passion and entertainment.”

Diego Maradona is as expressive with his words as he is with a football.

The Argentinean genius responds to criticism that the results he has achieved so far with his new employer—Al Wasl—are unsettling the team’s supporters.

Al Wasl is part of the 12-team UAE professional league.

Maradona signed a two-year contract with the Dubai team in May.

The league is just four years old and Al Wasl are yet to win a title.

Al Wasl were handed a 5-0 drubbing by Dubai Club in one of its warm-up games.

The club’s owners gave Maradona a vote of confidence in a public statement, “The season is long and this is just one match.We have full faith in our head coach who is working hard to develop a strong team that will be true contenders for the league title.”   

The club is more than satisfied with the the recruitment of the stocky No. 10 and its effect on the club’s international profile.

Club chairman Marwan bin Bayat spoke to Reuters:

There’s no doubt that ever since the appointment of Diego Maradona as head coach the name of Al Wasl has exploded on the worldwide radar.     
In four months our followers on Twitter grew from 50 to 1600 and we have received over 30000 visitors to our website which is a 300% increase.   

Maradona said:

If someone does not like me or has anything against me, it doesn’t really matter to me. I am with Al Wasl, I have a contract here and I will complete my contract to the last day. I will give my best at all times. After the 5-0 defeat, some people might think otherwise, but I don’t care about what they think. Al Wasl have probably one per cent the budget of Arsenal and they lost 8-2 the other day [to Manchester United].

What he really meant:

“You can either watch comedy on DVD or watch me  on the side-lines. Oh, I forget, one man’s comedy is another’s tragedy. Yes, I stick with my recommendation, ‘Stay home and watch comedy instead. I have the fans’ interests at heart’.

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m the next Danny De Vito. Why isn’t Hollywood coming calling yet? Do I have lose that mop of hair?”

Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Maradona during his debut for Argentina in a g...

Diego Maradona Is Wary of Argentine Museums

What he said:

"Football there is like a museum – the youngest person is 95 years old. Stay at home with your grandchildren and allow young people to manage Argentinean football."

Argentine soccer legend, Diego Maradona, is critical about the state of affairs in the Argentina Football Association (AFA). Maradona was sacked as national coach following the 0-4 loss to Germany in the World Cup quarters.

What he really meant:

“The Argentina Football Association is a museum and I’m not careful  around them (museums). I’m like a bull in a chinaware shop.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Nobody told me how to coach the Argentinean side. That’s why we lost.”

Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Diego Maradona watching the Germany-Sweden qua...

Diego Maradona Is Not Interested in Argentine soccer

What he said:

"Since I left, I have never seen the Argentina team… And I think I will not see them again."

Diego Maradona makes it clear that he has no more interest in the Argentinean soccer team. The footballing great was national coach for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He was later sacked following the 0-4 loss to Germany in the quarter-final.

What he really meant:

“The Argentine national team is neither my responsibility nor the Argentine Football Association (AFA)  my paymasters.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“You can take me away from my Argentina but you can’t take away the Argentina in me.”

Diego Maradona: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Maradona during his debut for Argentina in a g...

What he said:

"This is not a family if no one plays soccer. No one is asking what can be done to improve soccer. There are motorcyclists, swimmers, race car drivers, but there is not one soccer player that can give advice."

Diego Maradona refuses to be part of the FIFA family.

What he really meant:

"At least, I played the game. These guys treat players like we do footballs."

What he definitely didn’t:

"FIFA, live and learn from the BCCI."

(Assuming, of course,that Maradona follows cricket—Indian cricket.)

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