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What’s Next For Messi?

Lionel Messi is arguably the current greatest player in the world and this was confirmed by FIFA last week with the presentation of 2019 Player of the Year award to him in Milan, Italy.
Having won the award for a record six times, Messi is now shoulder high above his rivals.
 For quite a while, there has been the raging but healthy rivalry between him and Cristiano Ronaldo about who is the best.
But the FIFA award seems to have temporarily concluded the answer. Messi is it! At least for now.
 However Messi still has a void in hjs career and how great is the vaccum!
There is a glory that is elusive to him and which, at the end of the day, will determine his place among the kings of football.
He has won every glory there is to be won except the World Cup’
Before last week’s FIFA award, Messi and Ronaldo were tied at five award wins each. That parity heightened global debate of the rivalry between the two.. At a point Messi was under pressure of the two to prove a point.
Messi won the award several times ahead of Ronaldo who eventually closed up the gap and levelled up at five each.
Perhaps if Ronaldo had won the sixth before him, Messi would have lost in the challenge.
But having got there first, Messi has psychologically won handsomely and can now turn his whole attention with a relaxed mind to the World Cup.
However, he is entering another phase of rivalry, this time with the two all time kings of football: Pele and Maradona.
Already in Argentina there is the whispering over who is the greatest between him and Maradona. Though it has not fully blown into a national discourse but it definitely will.
Pele and Maradona each led their nations to World Cup glories but Messi has not had that luck yet.
There was something common between Pele and Maradona.  They were not just players but phenomenal and out of this world.
They were not just intelligent players but had something miraculous about them. Their play pattern was immortal above the standard player.
Messi is definitely a miracle in football capable of doing phenomenal displays that are breath-taking.
However,  if Messi does not lead his nation to a World Cup glory it will become difficult to make a case for him when compared with Pele and Maradona.
 Now he has just one more World Cup finals to play given his present age of 32. There is no doubt he has done a lot for his country. leading Argentina to a World Cup finals and three Copa America final but lost all. In short he has yet to win a cup for Argentina at the senior level.
He has only so far won the 2008 Olympics  and 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
All eyes will be on him at the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.
He can wiin it, but will he? That’s what is next for Messi.

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