Let me get something out of the way here: I'm Brazilian, and I'm having the best day ever. Brazil destroyed Argentina in a football match, which is the greatest thing that could ever happen for any people on my country.
Tite is now God, he should be president of the Earth and Paulinho is the second coming of Rivaldo. Neymar has 50 goals for his national team and he's 24 years old, which means he'll be the top scorer in Brazil history, even better than Pelé. Philippe Coutinho is exceptional, and Gabriel Jesus will be the greatest striker ever. All because of a win against Argentina. I'm happy.
Then I look at Argentina, and I'm sad. Just four days after destroying Sevilla by himself in a Barcelona shirt, Lionel Messi was at the wrong end of a thrashing. Argentina should have lost 6-0 on Thursday night, but even a three-goal loss was enough to display just how immense the gap is between the two best teams in South America. And Leo Messi doesn't deserve it.
The problem is: Messi will not give up again. He retired four months ago, then came out of retirement and will not retire again. Because Messi doesn't quit, and he'll try to save a whole nation by himself. And the cold, hard truth is: not even Messi can.
Not even the greatest football player of all time can turn Edgardo Bauza into a half decent football coach; not even Messi can convince Diego Simeone, Mauricio Pochettino or Jorge Sampaoli to leave their amazing club situations to join a national team governed by a Football Association that doesn't even have a president right now.
Not even Messi can make Di Maria, Higuain, Aguero and other incredible talents be somewhat good when playing with the Albiceleste. Not even Messi can watch Neymar play for a real football team and not wish he could be in a similar situation.
Messi won't quit. But he should. For his own good. For someone who embodies greatness, to be in a team that's mediocre at best and absolutely terrible at worst can only tarnish his amazing legacy, for both club and country.
It's not his fault his country can't be as good as his club.