Messi gets face-saving Kazan mural to match Ronaldo’s

Neymar Brazil

Neymar Brazil

It would probably start with "Messi doesn't have the right team and the coach doesn't know how to utilise Messi properly", before going on to, "One man alone can not do everything, football is a team sport", and end it with "It isn't Mess's fault, Argentina were just not good enough for him".

Perhaps we're getting too far ahead of ourselves, we nearly certainly are, but in seven days' time football fans around the world could be salivating over the prospect of Portugal versus Argentina in the quarterfinals, which would, of course, give us a showdown between Messi and Ronaldo. He's supposed to show the world that he can carry his national team to victory.

As the second round of the FIFA World Cup gets underway on Saturday with France taking on Argentina, there are bigger concerns for some players and even more for team management of respective teams. We knew this day would come.

France and Barca defender Samuel Umtiti, however, spoke about Messi's difficulties with Argentina on Thursday. Messi doesn't seem to fit into the collective. In all three games they played against Australia, Peru and Denmark, they could not prove their superiority over their opponents. Is it the system?

He also stated he doesn't have same players in Argentina as one of the reason. But maybe it's not that surprising. But if you ask me if I want to keep winning of course I do. It would make millions of Argentines in the world happy.

"It was a simple exchange I had with one of my players, that is all".

Even coming off another extraordinary season with Barca, it was never sure Messi would be able to replicate that form with the national team and Russian Federation will have barely noticed his presence.

Now after fighting to advance from their group, Argentina will face their toughest test of the 2018 World Cup so far, when they battle France in the Round of 16. The same also goes for Uruguay and Portugal, two similar teams with similar strategies.

But then I really do feel that this France team have more to give.

Messi was booked for time wasting late on in Argentina's must-win game against Nigeria. But history weighs less heavily on him than on Messi, the benefit of playing for a smaller nation that's never reached a World Cup final. Messi is blessed with teammates like Segio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Paolo Dybala but Sampaoli as a football tailor, has been unable to bring these wonderful attacking pieces together in order to produce a well-knitted team.

But Germany's departure means a new champion will be crowned and, even without the Germans, there is still much to look forward to.

England can have a bit of a defeatist attitude when it comes to the World Cup (or any major global soccer tournament, that is). Can you beat that. Is the future going to be at this World Cup or rather Euro 2020?

"I don't like the word failure but it's very frustrating". I'm not like those who moan about having little teams at these competitions - for me that's what the World Cup is all about.

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