Argentina has despended on Lionel Messi to score the opening goal for three of their four 2022 FIFA World Cup fixtures.
During this tournament, the South American nation has yet to have a convincing win. Additionally, the Argentines lost to Saudi Arabia, leading many to question if they are indeed contenders.
Countries such as Brazil and France have flexed their talent at times in the tournament, which is why ESPN football journalist Julien Laurens questions how far Argentina can go with them solely depending on Messi.
“I just don’t know how far you can go just with [Messi], just with him creating, just with him scoring, just with him doing something special, doing a bit of magic,” Laurens said on Monday’s episode of “Gab and Juls.”
“The others might be the supporting cast, and they very much are [Rodrigo] De Paul is, Enzo [Fernandez] is, [Alexis] Mac Allister is, and I love Mac Allister, and I think he was inspired on the first goal. He compensated where everybody else moves, especially Messi and you need that; that’s great. But [Julian] Alvarez doesn’t do enough, and they don’t create enough, really, for him either. And it’s too isolated. And then whether it’s Papu [Gomez] or [Angel] Di Maria or whoever else, it’s too lightweight.”
Messi can only carry the CONMEBOL side so far, and in the quarterfinals, the 35-year-old will need some help as they’ll face a Netherlands side that defeated the United States 3-1 in their Round of 16 matchup this past weekend.
Argentina has been the favorite in all their matchups thus far at the World Cup in Qatar. However, against the Netherlands, it will be an even opponent, so if the veteran forward receives no help or the squad waits for him to do something, they could go home.