The 'Albiceleste' arrives in the second batch of favorites based on Lionel Messi and a history hit, rather than in the group performance
Argentina won its last World Cup 32 years ago by the legendary Diego Armando Maradona, and the next World Championship will be played by the considered best player in the world: Lionel Messi. For many fans it is a duty that 'The Albiceleste' is crowned in Russia 2018, although they have not shown a level of hopeful play that allows them to fulfill that desire as Brazil, Germany or Spain are doing. Based on this, the question is: Is it really an obligation for them to win the next FIFA World Cup?
If the best in the world plays at their level, they can win
Lionel Messi is considered by many specialists and fans as the best soccer player of the moment and even in history. For this reason, his presence in the Argentine national team gives great hierarchy to the team so it has not played well in recent times.
The world of soccer sees Argentina as favorite because of the mere fact of having Lionel Messi. "Any team with Messi is a favorite. If Messi is there, you must respect them", said Zlatko Dalić, coach of Croatia and Argentina's opponent in the next World Cup, according to Fox Sport. "Argentina is a favorite, because it has the best player in the world", said David Trezeguet, former Franco-Argentine soccer world champion with France in the 1998 World Cup, on the World Cup tour.
In the same way, some of his compatriots admit that having Messi completely changes the role of the selected 'Albiceleste'. "Argentina is favorite because we have Messi; he is the best in history", said Di María in an interview with FIFA. Undoubtedly, Lionel Messi transforms the panorama with his exceptional talent and his overwhelming presence.
But for the best, it is mandatory to be in the semifinals
Argentina's favoritism does not mean a title obligation for Lionel Messi. The Argentine legend sees as an obligation to reach the semifinals, but not to reach the final and win it. "A good world would be to be among the first four, to be among the best. Argentina, at the very least, deserves to be there for its history. Although it cost us a lot in the last World Cups to reach those rounds, we must be there again", Messi said in an interview with the TyC Sports media.
Winning the World Cup is not an obligation for Messi and his teammates. "It is more a desire for all that we have gone through, than an obligation. We are the first who want to be champions in Russia. Having been in three finals and not being able to be champions in any is also a weight. We want, and we want to overcome that barrier", Messi said.
The history weighs and the fans demand
Argentina is one of the best soccer teams throughout history, but that same history says that the last World Cup that won the 'Albiceleste' was in 1986. The Argentine hierarchy demands a world title again, since 32 years are many for a waiting that seems eternal.
The Argentine World championships oblige all generations 'albicelestes' to win. "After that generation of 1978 and 1986 a line has been marked in which Argentina is favorite (...) It is a selection that cannot be hidden in that history of protagonism and ambition, with a very clear objective: to win the World Cup", said David Trezeguet.
The 'albiceleste' fans are also impatient with that long drought of titles, which is why increasingly demands more impetus to the players of the Argentine national team, which has generated problems. "Any team that reaches three finals is valued, but they call us 'cold breasts'. I wish we were like Germany and we work for it", said Lionel Messi.
For other fans in the rest of the world it is an obligation for the 'albiceleste' team and for Messi to win the World Cup, otherwise the legendary footballer will not be considered the best player in the history of football.
Argentina will arrive in Russia with the hand of Lionel Messi, forced to win for many, forced to make a good role for few. The truth is that the 'albiceleste' team has great players that will have to empathize perfectly to achieve good results, and that the best in the world must live up to the demands of the whole world.
Latin American Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from "Argentina: ¿es una obligación para la selección ser campeona en Rusia 2018?"