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No one loves Argentina more than Lionel Messi

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The Barcelona captain keeps coming back for more

Argentina v Venezuela - International Friendly Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

On Friday, Lionel Messi returned to the national team of Argentina after almost a year without repping the blue and white jersey. And, to be completely honest, there was this slightest hope deep, deep down that this time around things would be different, that the team would perform better and that the new generation of players called up under Lionel Scaloni would be able to take advantage of having the best player in the world on their team. Yet, that small amount of hope that made me believe, was crushed this Friday with the ugly reality: Argentina and Messi are on different frequencies.

Argentina faced Venezuela in a friendly and from the looks of it, things have gone from bad to worse. The Albicelestes took a 3-1 beating by a team that has never even qualified for a World Cup in their country’s history. There was no chemistry between the players and they looked uncomfortable just trying to string several passes together. Youngsters like Pity Martinez and Nicolas Tagliafico failed to link up with Barca’s ‘10’. And the midfield was as slow as traffic on a Monday night in L.A.

Argentina v Venezuela - International Friendly Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The Wanda Metropolitano witnessed another chapter in the disastrous Argentina story. The images from that night with the same old frustrated faces while Leo had his classic serious look glued to his face, refreshed the feelings from the past years of pain. Nothing has changed, absolutely nothing. There might be new faces and a new coach, but not a thing has improved. Argentina continue scratching their heads in confusion, wondering how they can capitalize on the best footballer the world has ever seen.

Leo, more Argentinian than Dulce de Leche

But what strikes me most about this entire situation is the screams regarding Messi’s lack of love and indifference towards his country and his national team. The press have lashed out, labeling Messi a different player with Argentina from the one we see every weekend at Barca. Calling him ‘pecho frio’, and creating this wicked agenda that Messi does not share that same love and passion for his national country like he does for the catalan club. All this constant noise is simply absurd to me. Are we talking about lack of love for a country from a player that keeps coming back for more despite the painful and heartbreaking final defeats? The player that is ready to sacrifice everything to lead his country to some silverware? The player that despite three Copa America heartbreaks and two World Cup tortures is still attracted to come back and give it another try?

Argentina v Venezuela - International Friendly Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Messi keeps coming back for more even when he knows Argentina are not even close to having a stable project planned out. He keeps reappearing in the Albiceleste kit to play football that the team have transformed into a one man job. Eleven players on the pitch, yet only one doing all the work. Even for a player like Messi, who has defined the odds, it’s difficult, not impossible but very difficult. Yet despite all this pressure, ‘Messi-dependency’ and instability within the team, he still comes back for more.

Instead, of labeling it ‘lack of love’, I am convinced Messi has given a new meaning to ‘loving your country’. Through all the pain, sorrow and frustration, Lionel Messi stays true to his beloved Argentina and I just really hope that at end of all this he finally achieves his childhood dream: a trophy with the national team.