Why Lionel Messi’s Popularity in Argentina Benefited From Barcelona Exit, per Journalist

All of Argentina will be rooting for the storybook ending, to see Lionel Messi cap off his international career by winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup as the tournament gets underway on Sunday.

In an interview on Sky Ireland’s “Off The Ball,” football writer Marcela Mora y Araujo explained how Messi’s popularity has grown in the last few years in Argentina. Mora y Araujo stated something is different about the group of players under manager Lionel Scaloni.

“Something shifted with this group and it also coincided with [Messi] leaving Barcelona and with Maradona dying,” Mora y Araujo said. “And I think in some ways Maradona dying did kind of clear the way. I’m not saying Messi wanted him to die or anything like that, but somehow he is now the only living legend.”

Mora y Araujo went into more detail how the move to Paris Saint-Germain and the death of Maradona helped Messi’s growth, as she stated, now the veteran forward is one of the prominent symbolic symbols for Argentina it appears as though there’s more of an appreciation.

“So, in a way, I think Messi had some liberation, the symbolic, metaphoric liberation from Diego physically present and the real kind of labor workman man who chooses the future liberation of stepping out of Barcelona,” Mora y Araujo added.

“But I wouldn’t underestimate the excellence of the team around him and the players and the methodology.”

Messi and Argentina kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as the South American looks to get out of the group stage and into the knockout stages.

Tags Argentina national team Lionel Messi
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