Summary of Argentina's 0:1 victory over Brazil in the Copa America 2021 final (Sport1)
The 2010 World Cup had a pre-written Argentine script: national hero Diego Armando Maradona, in the opportunity of a lifetime as the coach of the national team, would lead Argentina to a third victory with the help of the heir Lionel Messi.
Maradona wanted with all his heart to make this dream come true and tried to speed up processes regarding the young talent.
After two victories in the group stage in South Africa, Argentina could afford to rotate in the last game against Greece and the coach decided, apart from the seven changes in the lineup, to also unexpectedly award the captain's ribbon to Diamond from Barcelona.
Thus, on June 22, 2010, two days before his 23rd birthday, Messi led Argentina for the first time in an official match and became its youngest captain in the World Cup.
In that tournament, as befits the character and the story, there was a camera that followed during the games only Maradona.
She caught him scolding, joking, grumbling and mostly cursing.
In one of the cases against Greece, the Greek captain Yorgos Karagonis suddenly approached the shocked Messi, grabbed his hand and complained to him aggressively.
Maradona didn't like it and shouted from the bench: "Kragonis, what the hell do you want from him? You piece of gay!".
After realizing that Karagonis didn't understand Spanish, Maradona came to his senses, remembered that he once saw him in an Inter uniform and naturally switched to Italian: "What did you say to him there, you son of a bitch. Don't mess with Messi, you understand? Not with Messi. Go fuck yourself" .
Tried to speed up processes.
Diego Maradona with Lionel Messi in 2010 (Photo: Reuters)
The differences in styles then screamed to the heavens.
The combination of the two top 10 numbers did not produce the hoped-for happy ending, and in the following years Maradona saw his successor lose with the team in the final positions time after time.
"I love him and enjoy watching him play, but maybe he doesn't have the personality," Maradona claimed in June 2016. "He can't lead the way I led."
The world champion from 1986, who was captain at the age of 25 during the swing in Mexico and passed away about two years ago, did not get to see Messi put him on his mistake.
He is not a world champion yet and it is possible that this tournament will also end in tears, but the events of the quarter finals proved that this is in any case Messi's most maradonistic World Cup.
Tribute to Juan Roman Recalma and defiance towards Louis van Gaal.
Leo Messi (Photo: Reuters)
The surprise after Holland was huge.
For years they said about him that he was a twisted radish, too polite, even emotionally detached.
And suddenly another Messi appeared.
"Leo is the Argentine we all would like to be: respectable, one for whom doors are opened everywhere in the world, with a polished image, always with his family by his side," explained journalist Marcelo Sotil, author of the book 'Messi, the Different', last week.
"On the other hand, Diego is what the Argentine is in reality: the rebel who goes out to fight the rulers, the arrogant."
The words were said even before the match against the Netherlands.
Messi got the hint and was a bit more than Radona.
It started with Louis van Gaal's defiant goal celebration.
After the ball had already been returned to the center of the field, Messi walked alone towards the Dutch bench, put his hands behind his ears and imitated the famous celebration of Juan Roman Riquelme, his friend and former idol who suffered for Van Gaal in Barcelona.
After the dramatic victory in penalties, he also took revenge on the opposing coach for his words the day before.
Van Gaal alluded to Messi's lack of involvement in the defensive work when he claimed that Argentina plays with 10 players when they don't have the ball and added: "In 2014 he didn't touch the ball and we only lost on penalties. The flea first claimed his insult ("His statements were disrespectful") and then scolded : "Van Gaal sells stories that he plays beautiful football, then it turns out that he throws strikers into the box and starts throwing long balls at them."
The dedication that led to punishment and anger at Mateo Lahos.
Leo Messi with Newell's shirt in 2020 (Photo: Reuters)
Yes, even the greatest take to heart every word that is said about them.
Messi heard, processed and just waited for the opportunity to prove otherwise and slap it in the face of the on-duty manager.
Shaquille O'Neal, who even 25 years later knows how to quote headlines written against him and at the time beat Utah player Greg Ostertag who dared to call him "overwritten" in a pre-season interview, told in the documentary "Shaq" how one sentence of Kareem Abdul Jabbar in an article comparing them, aroused in him the The motivation needed before the Lakers dynasty.
"Kareem said there: 'How big is he if he doesn't even have a championship?'" Shaq recalled.
"Oh, that made my blood boil."
So Messi settled one score with Van Gaal and moved to referee Antonio Matteo Lahos.
Two years earlier, back in the days of Barcelona and right after Maradona's death, Messi thought of a way to honor his memory on the field and at the last moment remembered an old shirt kept in his private museum.
He took it with him and after scoring 0:4 against Osasuna, took off his Barcelona shirt and revealed a shirt of his beloved team Newell's Old Boys with the number 10 and celebrated as Maradona did in his days with the Rosario team in 1993/94.
The one who was less connected to the gesture was Matteo Lahous, who stuck to the rules and pulled a yellow card on the Argentine, who was also fined for it.
Messi did not forget and took the opportunity to attack the Spanish referee as well.
But the real "Diego" moment of that evening - during which Messi also starred on the field with a genius cook, a goal from the penalty spot and composure even in the penalty shootout - was in an interview with Gaston Adol.
Messi did not like the look directed at him by Ott and Horst, the scorer of Holland's double, and pulled out in front of the cameras: "What are you looking at, idiot? Go, go there."
The interviewer, one of the journalists close to the captain, felt that this was an unusual event and tried to calm him down, but the missile had already been launched.
The sentence quickly became a cult.
Messi is certainly a bigger role model than Maradona, but every now and then the Argentinians want him to kick conventions.
A bit like Diego.
They got what they wanted live.
We want Messi sometimes a bit like Diego.
Argentina national team fans (Photo: GettyImages, Francois Nel)
This maradonization process did not start in Qatar.
Many point to the fury of the 2019 Copa America as the accelerating factor.
When Messi fought in the Conambul (South American Football Association): that's where the buds of the phenomenon sprouted.
In the 37th minute of the match for third place against Chile, Messi exchanged urges with Gary Medel who was more active in the confrontation.
The referee sent them both away.
The Argentine star was shocked by the second red of his career (the first was on his debut against Hungary in 2005, after 44 seconds on the field) and in response refused to show up for the medal ceremony.
He chose to attack the association and the referees again, after accusing them of corruption at the end of the loss to Brazil in the semi-finals: "Maybe the things I said last time had a price. I didn't go to the ceremony because I didn't want to be part of the corruption here. We lost respect for this whole tournament. They didn't give us To reach the final, there is no doubt that this trophy is destined for Brazil."
Two weeks later an apology was indeed sent, but it can be said that the change had begun, and Maradona was also satisfied when he said: "Messi is becoming a rebel like me, I like him more in this version."
The fruits of the change were reaped in the 2021 Cup. "Messi cannot speak in front of 20 players and instill motivation in them the way I did, that's just not him," Maradona claimed in an interview in December 2017. This feeling was shared by many commentators in Argentina and even former national team coaches.
But since that breaking point in the 2018 World Cup and the comeback to the squad after 250 days, Messi's feelings are different.
The national team awakened in him the passion that had waned in Barcelona at the time, and an extraordinary harmony was created in the staff that allowed him to excel as a leader as well.
When young players gathered around him who were excited by his presence and made it clear in advance that their ultimate goal was to "help Messi lead Argentina to the title", the captain could do what Maradona thought he could not.
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spying on the World Cup?
"Argentina is preparing a stinking plan,
The first rebellion.
Leo Messi is sent off in Copa America 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
During the promotion of the documentary about Argentina's victory in the last Copa America, an emotional speech was revealed in which Messi ("as never seen before") spurs his teammates on for more than a minute before the final against Brazil at Marcana.
The same one who was mocked as a foreigner ("more Spanish than Argentinian") and does not know the words of the national anthem, seems such a natural leader at this moment.
Doesn't hide and doesn't disappear, certainly doesn't vomit.
"This game was supposed to be played in Argentina, and God brought it here," he told his friends there.
"God brought him here so that we can win and we can lift the cup here in Markana friends, so that it can be even sweeter for all of us. So let's go up with confidence and with calmness, because we are bringing this cup home."
And they brought
At the age of 34, he finally had a first degree with the national team.
Cameras accompany Messi for a documentary in Qatar as well and similar speeches must have been heard.
After all, following the loss to Saudi Arabia in the opening round, every game was practically a final for Argentina.
Any further loss - against Mexico, Poland, Australia or the Netherlands - meant one thing: relegation and the end of the dream.
But "Diego pushes us from heaven", Messi declared after advancing to the semi-finals and another night in which he carried the team on his back - in every way.
Maradona must have looked down with pride.
FIFA World Cup
Argentina national team
World Cup 2022