Lionel Messi has been heavily criticized by fans for not winning silverware in major tournaments for his country Argentina. As the five-time ballon d’or winner who have won all the available titles in club football, seemed not to have guided his Argentine senior national side to win a major tournament in football.
Among the three fifa most recognized football tournaments for men (FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup and Olympic Football for men), the only tournament that the Barcelona forward has been able to win is the Olympic football for men, which he won in 2008. He is yet to win any major tournaments among the once he took part in with Argentina.
The Argentine has been to three world cups (2006,2010,2014) and three Copa Americas (2007, 2011 and 2015) and may take part in the 2018 fifa world cup and 2019 Copa America tournament, if the judgment of the lingering court case against him on tax invasion in Spain goes in his favour. Otherwise, the Barcelona forward could miss out of the tournaments in 2018 and 2019.
In Argentina, Diego Maradona is still seen as an ‘Idol’, despite the fact that he was penalized on several occasions for his involvement in drug cases. No player has suffered match ban cases in history of football on drug-related cases more than Maradona, but the fact that he led Argentina to win the fifa world cup with Argentina in 1986 still stand for him. Unfortunately, since then, Argentina has gotten close to the trophy on two occasions (1990 and 2014) and are yet to feel the championship.
The fact that the Argentine has not been able to accomplish one of these major tasks with his nation, seems to be affecting him. In 2015 and 2014 world cup for example, he refused to collect the MVP trophy given to him in 2015, while he practically removed the silver medal put round his neck after winning silver in the 2014 world cup final against Germany.
Unfortunately, age is not on the side of Lionel Messi, and his star-studded Argentina squad that have dominated Europe in a while, with their names becoming house-hold names as far as football is concerned. Messi is currently 28, by 2018 he is going to be 30 and would need serious intervention to be in the 2022 world cup at 34, going by the way in which he is being active with football particularly in club level. His compatriots goalkeeper Sergio Romero will be 31 by the next World Cup. Midfielders Javier Mascherano and Angel Di Maria are 31 and 28 respectively. Forwards Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero are also 28, meaning that this generation may complete football during their hey days without winning a major title for Argentina.
Messi may be faced with more distractions emanating from court cases on tax invasion, which could also lead to more frustration in the on going 2016 Copa America in the United States, but he need to take the bull by the horns, and win this trophy for the national side on June 23, when the trophy will be handed over to the winner. Aside this, he will be left with two major titles for Argentina, which is the 2018 Fifa World Cup and the 2019 Copa America.