Messi’s light and suffering lead Argentina to the semi-finals

BarcelonaFor Argentina, every match is a part. Each action of the chosen eleven on the field of play can change the mood of an entire country that, fractured in day-to-day life, unites for the World Cup match. And, in each confrontation, the players of thealbiceleste they jump onto the field of play with extra pressure: that of feeling the breath of their fans on the back of their necks, always cheering, always full of faith and, also, always ready for tragedy. Against the Netherlands they rubbed the drama. They had the game almost won when, in the last minute of added time, a beautiful strategy play by the Dutch sent the game to extra time. Penalties would come, goalkeeper Dibu Martínez would shine. Lautaro would score the final goal. Messi breathes and continues to dream. Argentina, suffering, is already in the semi-finals (2-2, 3-4).

The Argentine star disputes, suffers and fights for his last World Cup. At least, as far as the splendor of his football is concerned. It is his last chance to embrace the only great trophy that still eludes him. His illusion is that of the whole of Argentina, a country where this sport is revered as a religion, despite the injuries that, World Cup after World Cup, he keeps accumulating. It has been more than 30 years since they tasted World Cup glory, since they did it for the second and last time in Mexico in 1986. In Qatar, perhaps the most inhospitable place to crown Messi definitively as the best footballer of all time, the Argentinian state team is already on the verge of touching the sky again. After overcoming the match ball against the Netherlands, only Croatia, Brazil’s executioner, separates them from playing in their sixth World Cup final.

Messi is the light and beacon of his team. To deal with the Dutch side, Lionel Scaloni emulated the defensive system of three centre-backs and two wingers that had so far worked so well for his counterpart Louis van Gaal. Ten gregarious, ready to leave the skin, waiting for that moment when the 10 decide when to stop time, when to find a crack that no one else sees and change the sign of the match. It was half an hour of the match when the fans of thealbiceleste he held his breath for a few seconds, a tiny interval of time, just before a huge burst of euphoria. Messi drives, Messi still and Messi serves an excellent pass between four defenders, in a space almost impossible to locate that Nahuel Molina, entering like a rocket, knew how to smell. The can was opened. The Argentines hugged each other. First tears of emotion in the stands.

Both Scaloni and Van Gaal opted for unattractive approaches from the start, and Argentina were no more deserving of taking the lead than their rivals, but there is a vast difference between having Messi or having to suffer it The change of sign on the scoreboard forced the Netherlands to take a step forward, to propose and not be merely reactive. But thealbiceleste she was comfortable and even relieved, even if it meant going against her suffering idiosyncrasy. Marcos Acuña provoked a penalty for Dumfries, who sinned innocently. Messi had to do the second. From the eleven meters, with an almost unusual calmness, he converted a dry and perfectly executed shot.

Van Gaal’s notebook

Messi’s goal looked like the penalty, but if Argentina had thought they could relax, two secondaries appeared on the scene to remind them, one more day, that they would have to suffer. Wout Weghorst superbly headed in a precise cross from Steven Berghuis. Both had come off the bench, with Van Gaal forced to break his defensive pragmatism and go all out in attack. There were five minutes to go. An additional ten would be played. The worst was yet to come. In a blackboard play, which will be remembered, a foul on the front in the last minute ended with a pass in the heart of the area, overcoming the barrier, which Weghorst, unexpected hero, would turn into the equaliser.

extension Here comes the classic Argentinian suffering. Thrown into the attack, Enzo sends a ball on the post in the last minutes of extra time. The final whistle blows. Penalties Dibu Martínez for the first. Messi throws the first; it doesn’t fail breathe Celebrate with rage. Dibu Martínez saves the second. The shootout continues. Enzo has it to touch, but misses. Luuk de Jong scores and gives wings to his team. Lautaro can decide. Score the decisive penalty. final exhalation

Argentina, suffering, as it could not be in any other way, is already in the semi-finals. Luka Modric is waiting for Leo Messi. A Ballon d’Or duel and, at stake, a ticket to the World Cup final. Eternal glory passes by his feet.

Source: – Portada by

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