Unthinkable: Argentina fail to Qualify for Russia 2018

They need a victory in Quito, Ecuador. In the very high altitude. Where they haven’t won in their last three matches.

I predict they don’t qualify and this is also an indictment of Mess I as a world class player. CR7, from the smaller and weaker Portugal, has been much more impactfil.

What are other Dopers thoughts?

Truly unthinkable, but very likely.

I dxon’t think it’s Messi’s fault. He’s done everything he could. Sure, two of his shots should have been goals against Peru, but his teammates aren’t helping.

I wouldn’t want to have sex, much less play football in that altitude. It’ll be a weird Cup without Argentina

I imagine a couple well-placed bribes to FIFA can find an obscure rule that will get them in.

I realize this is tongue in cheek, but the reason it won’t work is because for one team to get in, another team above them has to be kicked out. Only 32 berths.

Meaning many millions of angry Colombian or Peruvian fans demanding an answer as to why they’re inexplicably out. That scrutiny is withering.

Portugal wouldn’t qualify out of CONMEBOL either. Don’t need to make everything into Messi vs Ronaldo (Messi is still better).

Ronaldo has disproved that over the last few years.

By scoring and assisting less?

Messi isnt better than CR7 in any metric. You can drop Ronaldo in any side and he will be awesome because of his physicality and technical ability. Messi needs Barca to be anything other than an excellent player.

Iceland, all 350k of them, are one win against Kosovo from winning their group. Go Vikings!

Goals, assists, dribbles, passing. Those are four metrics.

Playing for Barca. He is shit for Argentina. If he were the best in the world, he should show it on the international stage.

There is something about Argentina that turns football-club lions into national-team sheep.

Di Maria, Dybala, Higuain, Aguero, Messi. They should be getting at least 2 goals per game in total. Nope, zip.

Argentina came in second in the last WC, didn’t they?

Messi was the MVP too, I think.

Which, you know, sure, runners-up are just the first losers and the MVP is all about hype, sure. But it’s not nothing.

Messi winning that Player of the tournament award was bullshit of the highest order, to the point of embarrassment. He wasn’t even the third best Argentinian player at that world cup never mind the best player of them all.

Exactly this.

Barcelona allows Messi to shine, Ronaldo allows Real to shine. That is the crucial difference. Messi cannot make Argentina into world-beaters like Maradona did and as Ronaldo does with Portugal.

Argentina came second at the last world cup but over the course of the tournament Germany were so much better and were worthy winners. The other finalist could have legitimately come from a group of 7 or 8 other teams with very little between them. It isn’t a rousing endorsement of Messi.

As for the player of the tournament? Well the common thread at the time was that the award to Messi was nonsensical. At least 4 of the German team had a better claim. The knowledgeable talking heads in football were of the opinion that Mascherano was better than Messi for Argentina and I have to agree.

And second in the last 2 Copa America’s to Chile. I agree that Mess I is an exceptional player, just not the best in the world.

Messi plays well as an RF. Or a false nine. Be a second striker (as for Argentina) or lead the line, his play drops noticeably. CR7 will play where the team needs him. Lead the line. Ok boss. On the left? Perfect. Drop deep? As you wish. Look at for Portugal in the last Euros, he typically either played CF or he dropped back considerably. Since that was where he was needed. CR7 excels where the tea, needs him to play outside his comfort zone. Messi cries like a little bitch.

Yeah, actually I thought that was as good as a decision as any. It looked bad because it came as i) right as he had lost a World Cup final ii) a match where he had missed at least two chances to win it in normal time and iii) a match where he had been less effective for not being sure whether to go forward or deep.

Mascherano was good in the Semi and the Final, that was it. Frankly, Messi was the only reason they got so far, it was his amazing 92nd minute goal which salvaged a win versus Iran and the Nigeria game which he won single-handedly as the Argie backline collapsed against…Ahmed Musa, and he is the one who opened up Switzerland for Di Maria’a goal. Frankly, for most of he tournament it was Messi and 10 men.

Interestingly, if I am doing the math right, Argentina cannot even guarantee their ticket with a win. If Chile beat Brazil, and Uruguay beat Bolivia, and Columbia beat Peru, then an Argentine win only puts the fifth, and into a playoff with New Zealand. I can almost see the Seleção intentionally losing to Chile, just to help knock Argentina out. :smiley:

I’m not saying he was bad, nor that he shouldn’t have been in the running, just that he was far from the outstanding player to my mind (and many, many others agree)…but of course that is always going to be a matter of taste as much as anything. Messi will get noticed just by the nature of his play but is he always a net benefit to the Argentinian team? I do think you are wrong about Mascherano though, he was rock solid throughout but a lot of what he did was subtle and unflashy. it is often harder for someone in his position to be noticed.