Why Can’t They Succeed?

Lady Luck has her favorites. That much is certain. There are certain individuals and groups that benefit from her graces, as the Irish do, stereotypically so. However, one group that certainly hasn’t benefitted from Lady Luck’s good graces is the Argentina Men’s National Team. They haven’t won a senior trophy in the 21st Century (their gold medals in 2004 and 2008 aren’t considered senior trophies). Why is it that, despite fielding terrific players, they can’t make a breakthrough?

Unfortunately, the blame for the Albiceleste’s continued failure will always fall on their best player and captain, Lionel Messi. However, it shouldn’t. There are several issues with the team that make success against the world’s best teams impossible.

First off, their defense is atrocious. That’s a strong word, but there’s no other way to express the befuddlement that I get when I realize that they’ve known about this issue for 10 to 15 years, yet they have done next to nothing to place an increased focus on solving the issue.

Secondly, management isn’t too great. Current manager Lionel Scaloni isn’t a strong figure. As a result, the weight of leadership has fallen totally on the shoulders of Messi. This is an area where Messi might deserve some blame. His influence tends to steer managers’ decisions and sometimes it sows a lot of discord.

Finally, there is the issue that has long been discussed: Argentina’s Men’s National Team is composed of a bunch of individuals who are more concerned about shining by themselves than working together toward a common goal. It’s been discussed for years, but every time they lose functions as another piece of evidence towards that argument.

To be honest, as much as I dislike Lionel Messi (big Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo supporter here), I feel bad for him. Part of me wants to see him win something for Argentina, if only to make him a more legitimate opponent to Ronaldo’s greatness.

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