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Argentina: The 2011 ‘Copa América’, Lionel Messi and Argentines

In Argentina, July 1, 2011, marked the start of the 2011 Copa América [es], now in the defining stage for the competition's quarter finals. Twelve countries from Latin America participate, and according to the results from Monday, July 11, Bolivia has already been eliminated without possibilities to advance, while the continuity of Colombia and Argentina to the second stage has been confirmed.

Blog Independiente Crece [es] comments on the results until July 10:

Con su  victoria de hoy, Colombia se quedó con el primer puesto del Grupo A y de esta manera avanzó a la próxima ronda de la competencia. Los otros equipos que aseguraron matemáticamente su pasaje son: Chile, Perú y Venezuela. Bolivia, en cambio, quedó fuera de carrera

With its victory today, Colombia obtained the place in Group A and, as a result, advanced to the next round of the competition. The other teams that mathematically assured their advancement were: Chile, Peru and Venezuela. Bolivia, however, ended up outside the race.

Messi mess

Lionel Messi. Image by Flickr user Adidas Italy (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Lionel Messi. Image by Flickr user Adidas Italy (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

So how is host country, Argentina, doing? Or rather, Argentines ask themselves, what is going on with Lionel Messi? Reactions are very controversial, with waves in favor and against the 24-year-old player who has received the Golden Ball Award for two consecutive years among the over 50 awards he has earned to date.

During this cup, Argentines have taken on the role of technical directors, psychologists and critics of the young, successful player from Rosario, the city of his birth which he left for FC Barcelona at the age of 13.

Twitter has reflected opinions through the #Messi hashtag.

Patricio Baratta (@patobaratta) says:

Vamos #Messi hoy!!! te banco. Demostrá que sos el mejor del mundo para que algunos no hablen mas.

Let's go #Messi today!!! I'm with you. Show us that you are the best in the world so that some stop talking.

Nene Lezcano from Córdoba (@nenitolezcano) sends a similar message:

Vamos #Messi todos hablan de vos tapales la boca a todos Rompela pibe

Let's go #Messi everyone is talking about you; shut them up; Break it kid

A triunfar.net (@fotosynoticias), also from Córdoba, where one of the tournament venues is found, compares two stars of Argentine football:

#Maradona fue el mejor en #Boca#Napoli, La Seleccion etc… #Messi solo es buen jugador en #Barcelona.

#Maradona was the best in #Boca, #Napoli, The National Team etc… #Messi is just a good player in #Barcelona.

Nevertheless, opinions and analysis do not come only from Argentina; in Spain, blogger Javisroad [es], Atlético de Madrid fan, comments on Messi and the Argentine national team's situation:

La Copa America 2.011, a falta de buen futbol, nos está dejando un interesante debate: ¿qué le pasa a Messi, que no rinde en la selección argentina? El anfitrión de la competición está teniendo un rendimiento muy decepcionante, y lógicamente todas las miradas se dirigen al mejor jugador del mundo, Messi, que debería marcar la diferencia en su selección pero no esta rindiendo a su nivel.

The 2011 Copa America, in the absence of good football, is leaving us with an interesting debate: what is happening with Messi, who is not performing well in the Argentine national team? The competition's host team has been having a disappointing performance, and logically all eyes are on the world's best player, Messi, who should be standing out in his team but is not performing to its level.

Twitter reactions arrive from Barcelona as well, such as that of Gabriel Masfurrol (@masfurroll), who defends Messi and criticizes Argentines:

#messi:Si Argentina no és capaz de querer, apoyar y emocionar a Leo es que quizas no lo merecen. Me sabria mal por Leo que si ama a su pais

#messi: If Argentina is not capable of wanting, supporting and encouraging Leo, then perhaps they do not deserve him. I would feel bad for Leo, who truly does love his country

Leo Messi has his Facebook page, where praise and criticism flood in, along with words of inspiration and some not so positive, like those of Facundo Rozados [es], who says:

Andate amargo a españa y juga para ellos. Te falta muchisimo para jugar con la 10. Pastore te pasa por arriba a nivel futbolistico

Go to Spain and play for them. You are lacking a lot in order to play wearing the number 10. Pastore far surpasses your football skill level

Or the words of Graciela Alfonso [es], who reproaches the fact that the player does not sing the Argentine national anthem:

NO BESES LA CAMISETA COMO EN LA FOTO, NO HAGAS GOLES SI NO PODES, PERO AL MENOS CANTA EL HIMNO ARGENTINO Y SI NO LO SABES APRENDELO CARAJO, PERO CANTA EL HIMNO, CANTAAAAAAAA EL HIMNO ARGENTINO O EN QUE PAÍS NACISTE ??

DON'T KISS YOUR SHIRT LIKE IN THE PHOTO, DON'T SCORE GOALS IF YOU CAN'T, BUT AT LEAST SING THE ARGENTINE ANTHEM AND IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT, LEARN IT DAMN IT, BUT SING THE ANTHEM, SIIIIIING THE ARGENTINE ANTHEM OR WHAT COUNTRY WERE YOU BORN IN??

On the other hand, the Technical Director of the Argentine national team, Sergio Batista, sends words of encouragement to all from his Twitter account (@batistachecho).

On July 8, he wrote [es]:

Estamos trabajando muy fuerte tanto en lo anímico como en lo futbolístico.

We are working very hard, as much on our state of mind as on our football skills.

The day of the match between Argentina and Costa Rica, he said [es]:

Queremos recuperar el rendimiento futbolístico y demostrarle a la gente que podemos

We want to redeem our football performance and show people that we can do it

Other hashtags where all of the reactions to Argentina's poor performance can be seen are: #CA2011, #argentina costa rica, #CopaAmerica2011 and #vamosMessi. The Trending Topic #arribapendejo appeared after the Argentina-Costa Rica game, referring to Messi; it is important to point out that in Argentina the word “pendejo” means “young” and is not offensive.

In his personal blog, singer Andres Calamaro [es] asks Messi for forgiveness with the following words:

Perdon Messi….”Siempre” es asi …  Ni te aplauden por seguir jugando “tocado” … Hablamos todos del EQUIPO y despues te crucifican ?

Sorry Messi… It's “always” this way … They don't applaud you for continuing to play “injured” … We all talk about the TEAM and then they crucify you?

And Leo [es] responds through his Facebook [es] page:

Gracias Andrés por el apoyo que me brindas.

Thank you, Andrés, for the support that you lend me.

This song was posted on YouTube [es] in support of the player.

In blog El Magazin [es] from Colombian daily El Espectador [es], an analytical article from Fernando Araujo Velez, El Magazín journalist, writer and editor, generates unrest in Juan Marco, who criticizes Argentine fans:

Que importa lo que digan los seudo hinchas argentinos, Messi es el mejor del mundo y su espectaculo nos seguira alegrando a todos. La Argentina lo perdio cuando no lo apoyo siendo un nino enfermizo…

What does it matter what the pseudo Argentine fans say, Messi is the best player in the world and his spectacular show will continue to bring joy to us all. Argentina lost him when they did not support him when he was a sickly child…

Now with Argentina's 3-0 victory over Cost Rica, with two goals from Sergio Agüero and one goal from Angel Di Maria, opinions change, in spite of Messi still not scoring goals for Argentina, such as that of Fernando Krakowyak (@krakowiak) on Twitter:

Hoy #Messi se cansó de meter pases gol. Dentro de poco va a convertir goles de carambola usando a los compañeros como bandas.

Today #Messi made a bunch of passes for goals. Soon he will score goals on pure chance, using his teammates as sides.

Or from @DaveRocknRoll:

Para mi #Argentina gano porque #messi demostro un muy buen nivel pero #Higuain le falta ritmo y #Gago profundidad que para eso lo metieron..

For me, #Argentina won because #messi performed quite well but #Higuain is lacking rhythm and #Gago depth, which is what they are there for…

The player's Facebook page received over 10,000 comments in a few hours, such as that of Hernán Diaz [es] who writes:

GRANDE GENIO SEGUI ASI EL GOL YA TE VA A QUEDAR, IDOLO LA ROMPISTE HOY TE FELICITO.

GRAND GENIUS, CONTINUE THIS WAY AND YOU WILL SCORE, IDOL YOU DID IT TODAY I CONGRATULATE YOU.

Whether Argentines expect a goal from Messi or not, the most important thing is to win. A number of matches still remain and for Argentina, perhaps the tournament starts now.

6 comments

  • Faisal

    messi show ur magic and make all peoples mouth shut plzz ur best player in da world evey1 know this if sum1 say tht ur bad thn its mean thy jealous on u sooooooooooo fuck the peoples who talk rubbish abut u u just show ur magic we all love u messi:))ur legend player

  • Bill

    Messi not scoring goals? who gives a shit, he’s spoon feeding his front line with gorgeous through balls and dribbling around defenders with ease and setting up every play. Argentina wouldn’t score nearly as many goals without Messi.

  • God

    RONALDO is still and will always be the best player in the world, who gives a shit about Messi, he is by far the most over rated player in the history of futbol, along with the aid of FIFA Messi has actually been able to convince half the world that he is even worthy of drawing comparrisons between him and CR7… face the facts and realize he isnt nor will he ever be. the only things Messi has been able to prove is he can score off xavi and inesta (as if thats nething to brag about) and he can set up players like hinguin and aguero (again even certain players can make “passes” look and work better then intended, what do you think wide recievers are for?) All i have to say is stop hating learn to except reality in the fact that Messi wether good isnt even on the same planet as Ronaldo, and who gives a shit about a copa america neway its not like any of these teams have a chance to win the world cup. the Euro i would say is the closest thing but honestly who cares about a handicap tournament for American countries

    • mannic

      Are you touched in the head ?? First of all i agree there is no comparison btw messi and ronaldo they are different type of players. Secondly Copa America being a handicap tournament are you kidding me South America with many folds less money equipment and national sides has always competed equally with europe actually thts wrong south America has dominated the football world since Real International Football actually started. Just so you understand chk out the World Cup page on wikipedia and read the section previous champions.

  • wicharek

    Most of the football fans are all the same around the world. They are aggressive. They always think they know better how to play. “He is not trying!”, “He doesn’t sing anthem!” – this is what I have heard so many times.

    In Russia there is a joke: “Everyone in the country is a good football player, except for the eleven on the field”.

    No need to listen to this type of people. And Messi knows that :)

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