Lionel Messi, whose greatest success has come while playing for Barcelona, is ready to show Argentine fans he's the world's greatest soccer player when wearing the country's famous blue-and-white shirt.
Messi has rarely played with the same allure for Argentina as he has for Barcelona—and never when it counts. Argentina exited last year’s World Cup with a humiliating 4-0 loss in the quarterfinals to Germany. Messi didn’t score during the entire tournament. But Stephen Wade points out that everything is now set for Messi to excel.
An elite power without much recent success, Argentina is the host. Messi is coming off his greatest season at Barcelona, and new coach Sergio Batista has his players trying to mimic the Catalan team’s style of quick passes and possession play.
“Messi is going to have a great Copa America,” Batista said. “Having the best player in the world means a lot, and we’ll try to make him comfortable so he produces his best. This is an enormous advantage.”