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Football is a team sport. It is a sport where each and everyone in the team must contribute collectively for the team to succeed. But when you have a Messiah in your team, the others start to relax. They tend to leave the entire work to this Messianic figure, and he gets burdened by it. It happens quite literally in the case of Lionel Messi. La Pulga Lionel Messi feels alone at times with club and country.

The decorated Argentine international is getting older by the day. He’s not the same force he used to be earlier. Still, he’s turning back the clock when required and putting on magical performances. Messi often gets saddened by the fact that he has to take care of the creation as well as the finishing. He is carrying his Barcelona side single-handedly now. It is not so different for Argentina national team as well.


It’s not a myth anymore. Messidependencia is real. There have been rumors in the recent past about this term. Every time you watch a team play with and without Messi you can only confirm it. Journalists in Spain have coined this term that literally means a team depending entirely on Lionel Messi. Such is his impact on the game for any team he plays. This was good in the early days as Messi used to win games on his own.

An aged Messi can still do it but not all the time. We have seen how Barcelona let go of the league title after having a solid start to the calendar year. A prime Messi could’ve ended this title race long ago. What he needs now is supporters for him on the pitch. Messi is just named as a right-winger on the team sheet. In reality, he drops in field and plays in the number 10 position behind the strikers. He drags defensive mids and centre-backs dangerously close to him before shuffling away and killing them with a pass.

Since he does this job their mid focuses on protecting the ball and defending. This has become too much for Messi. If he has a bad day at the office, which is a rarity the engine room of the team is shut. Their midfield struggles to create any service for their forwards. This is the reason Messi tries to stay on top of his game every time out. But considering his age, dropping infield to initiate attacks and getting to the top to finish them is becoming difficult.


Argentina is no different from Messidependencia. It seemed like they had broken out it a couple of years ago. The recent Copa America games have shown anything but. Messi scored from the spot in the 1-1 draw against Chile. He had to assist Guido Rodriguez to give them their first win against Uruguay. The team is still struggling to supplement Messi effectively.

He is constantly dropping into midfield to link up the play and kickstart attacks. This isn’t is good for a side looking to lift the trophy.

We look at some individuals who can step up to help Messi and fulfill his dream of winning the Copa.


For years Paulo Dybala was considered the best Argentine in Serie-A. The sudden emergence of Martinez has changed the dynamic. His rise was so impressive that Dybala- The La Joya had to be overlooked for this Copa.

The Inter Milan striker has enjoyed a highly successful campaign. He scored a career-best of 17 goals and dished six assists. The 23-year-old plays as a second striker behind Romelu Lukaku and thrives in his role. He needs to replicate his success for the national team as well.

He was as good as anonymous for the Albiceleste in their opening games. If he finds his creative touch Messi can afford to stay up the pitch.


Another impressive Argentine in the Serie-A. The all-action midfielder was a shining light in a mediocre Udinese team. His contributions have kept the side safe from relegation. The Argentine has the fine ability to see passes that others don’t.

He produced his career-best tally of nine goals and nine assists this term. While put in a better team these numbers would only improve. De Paul’s impressive form is reportedly earning him a move to Atletico Madrid.

After putting a silent performance in the opener, De Paul picked his game well. He was controlling the tempo of the match well and can add that creative spark and goals from the midfield. A couple of strong performances would relieve Messi.



Nico Gonzalez has disappointed in his starts at the tournament. Di Maria was left of the bench for him. The senior winger might return to the fore against Paraguay. Likewise, Sergio Aguero might make a case for the starting spot.

Di Maria is going strong as ever and might definitely take some burden off Messi. Aguero on the other hand has struggled with injuries of late. He must be prepared to make a strong impact off the bench or impress in the odd start he’s given.

If the other cast rise up to the occasion, Messi might not be alone anymore and may finally conquer South America.

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