The past season has been one of the most challenging for Lionel Messi. Barcelona themselves struggled for consistency and failed to win a trophy. Despite scoring twenty eight La Liga goals, Messi wasn't himself and this eventually saw him jeered by Barca fans, when Atletico clinched the title. For the first time, Messi has been questioned for his workrate and form. However, expect Messi to star in the World Cup.
You would expect the Argentine to be his countries star man. His is one of the best players in the world and even all time. Some may think he is in a slump mentally and going into the tournament in not great form. That won't phase the Barca Forward. Mentally, he hasn't got to this point without facing problems. As a youngster, he battled with growth problems, which tested his determination. Some may have let it hamper them and even stop their desire to be a footballer. Not Messi. For Barcelona he has shown incredible form over a number of years. However, many questioned his performances for Argentina. He had a lot of pressure on his shoulders to prove himself Internationally, and many will say he still has. His scoring record for his country is currently at just under one in two - pretty good. When Barcelona in their pomp ever needed someone to step up Messi did - Arsenal in the Champions League, Numerous El Clasicos, Manchester United in European Finals and so on. Argentina will need the same.
There has been much debate over favourites for the World Cup in Brazil. The hosts and Spain have to be the top two. Put Argentina as a strong choice after that. Expect Lionel to step up.