Messi shows Barcelona his class with Argentina brilliance
Lionel Messi has sent yet another major reminder of his talent to Barcelona with a scintillating display for Argentina.
La Albiceleste recommenced their World Cup qualification campaign with a 1-1 draw against Chile; Messi providing the goal from the penalty spot on 24 minutes.
Argentina controlled possession in the match and dominated the shot count, with Messi naturally behind much of what the team created going forward.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was denied a second goal twice in the match.
Firstly he was denied by former teammate Claudio Bravo in goal for Chile just before half-time, and secondly by the post as he thumped the frame of the goal from a free kick.
This all comes with Messi’s future still far from certain as the 33-year-old has yet to officially commit his future to Barcelona.
The Blaugrana star’s contract saga has dragged on since last summer when his public row with the Barcelona hierarchy seemed to all but stamp his passport out of Spain.
But Messi eventually put it behind him, ending up with 30 goals and nine assists as he dragged Ronald Koeman’s men to the brink of the Liga title race.
After initial doubts, Messi proved once again how irreplaceable he is at the Camp Nou, and much of the club’s presidential campaign around the turn of the year was centred around which candidate would have the best chance of keeping Messi at the club.
Messi and Aguero to link up next season
Despite the club’s financial struggles, Barca have shown early intent in the transfer market, bringing in former Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers.
Aguero in particular is a tantalising prospect alongside Messi, with the long time friends and compatriots set to line up alongside each other in club football for the first time.
That is, of course, if – or perhaps when – Messi decides to stay at Barcelona, with the hunt on to bring silverware back to Camp Nou.