After winning the World Cup in Qatar against France, it is safe to say that this generation of Argentinian players has accomplished a lot and that obviously includes Lionel Messi. The Argentinian superstar accomplished a lifelong goal and became a World Cup winner, playing a monumental role in Qatar and overall being the best player in the entire competition, but things haven’t stopped.
In the first international break since the World Cup ended in December of 2022, Argentina is back to celebrate its trophy with its people once again, this time on the pitch. They received the national team of Panama in River Plate’s Estadio Monumental and it was a massive occasion, with the players celebrating with the trophy.
In terms of Messi and his performance in this game, manager Lionel Scaloni put him as a starter from the get-go and the PSG superstar showed his quality, scoring one of the goals for Argentina’s 2-0 victory over Panama. It was a very simple performance from Argentina’s end, with the team a lot more focused on enjoying the moment, plus the fact that it was a friendly took any pressure away from them.
A few days later, Argentina faced off against Curacao and it was another stellar performance from the likes of Messi and his teammates. The team crushed the opposition with a 7-0 score, thus cementing the great state of form that they have been enjoying for quite some time now and what comes with it.
When it comes to Messi, he was definitely the star performer, scoring three goals and giving one of those performances that remind you why he has been the best player in the world for almost two decades now. Quality of the opposition notwithstanding, it was a very solid performance by Argentina and another reminder of how well they have been playing in Scaloni’s tenure.
LEO MESSI SCORES HIS 100TH GOAL FOR ARGENTINA 🇦🇷🐐 pic.twitter.com/kbI4YVhApN
— MC (@CrewsMat10) March 28, 2023
Beyond these performances, it is also quite telling how this contrasts with Messi’s recent fortunes at the club level. His recent months at Paris Saint-Germain have been far from ideal, with a lot of claims that he has been feeling unhappy at the institution, he being jeered by the PSG faithful and apparent ego issues with another star of the team, the Frenchman Kylian Mbappe.
This is a far cry from years ago when Messi was criticized due to his performances in the national team and used to find solace with his team, FC Barcelona. Now the tables have turned and Messi has found joy and consistency with the national team, cementing himself as the definitive leader in the squad and finding a balance between his own individual contributions and what the team can bring to the table.
In that regard, it has to be said that his recent performances and exploits in this international break are a reminder of what he can do and the way that he feels very much at home with the Argentina national team. This is something that is going to be very interesting to contrast and compare in the final months of the season with PSG.