Tata Martino, the Mexican coach, this Saturday at the Lusail stadium in Doha, during the match between Mexico and Canada.ALFREDO ESTRELLA (AFP)
“I know that if you call the president he will kick me out, but you don't have to show it to me every day.
I already know it".
Tata Martino, a very good person, gets angry when his football knowledge is discussed, something very frequent in his days as Barça coach.
He will never forget that after attending his father's funeral in Rosario and returning in time for the league game in Vallecas, he was reproached for saying his team had less possession than Rayo.
The score seemed the least of it: 0-4.
The coach's life was very difficult on the training ground and in the Camp Nou press room.
The legend tells many stories about his stay and also about his departure from Barça, none as categorical as the one recounted by Andoni Zubizarreta, former Barcelona technical secretary, in a dialogue with Vicente del Bosque organized by EL PAÍS.
The coaches know that their contracts also depend on their relationship with Messi and Tata Martino also understood that it was very difficult for him to continue at Barcelona.
And not only for 10, with whom he met again when he led Argentina and they lost two Copa América finals together.
Things are not going much better for the Argentine coach with Mexico and the goal from Rosario will increase his vulnerability in Qatar.
Messi was resurrected and rescued Argentina the day he was reunited with Tata.
La Albiceleste lost in the blink of an eye a game that they had won against Saudi Arabia and had gone blank against Mexico.
That defeat ended a 36-match undefeated streak and now he couldn't remember how he played to claim victory in venues as demanding as the Maracana when he won the Copa América a year ago.
Messi was not enough alone and the context did not help either, stunned as Argentina was, turned into a nervous wreck in the World Cup in Qatar.
It was enough to look at Messi to know about the fate of Argentina.
It was a bad sign when the camera focused on his face because it meant that the feet of the 10 did not work. There were many times when he was absent and when he took the ball he hardly dribbled, knowing that he would not come out clean from the dribble, so he preferred to accompany the play , throwing the passing line and only very occasionally accelerated to force a free kick that he also did not know how to convert into a goal against Memo Ochoa.
At 35 years old and injured in the soleus, he did not seem to be in Qatar, when Di María put the ball very close to the front of the area, and Messi hit a cross shot with his left foot to the left post of the goal of Mexico.
Messi had rubbed the lamp, Argentina unlocked, scored a second goal, remembered how games are won and now looks forward to Lewndowski's Poland.
The Albiceleste once again trusts his aspirations after the Rosario emotionally celebrated his goal and released the tension of a group seized by fear of failure two years after Maradona's death.
Messi avoided the Albiceleste catastrophe.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that the coach of the opposing team was the good-natured Tata Martino, the same one who reminded him one day at the Camp Nou: "I know that if you call the president, he'll kick me out, but you don't have to prove it to me all the days.
I already know it".
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