Lionel Messi has done just about everything a soccer player can set out to accomplish. He has won La Liga six times, the UEFA Champions League three times, the FIFA Club World Cup twice, and four straight Ballon d’Or trophies, all while scoring 327 goals in 395 appearances for Barcelona and becoming undoubtedly the best player in the world.
But the one main lacking element to Messi’s resume is that he has never won the FIFA World Cup. This has surely not been for a lack of effort or production as the star forward has scored 37 goals in 83 games for Argentina, and has racked up countless more assists on the way.
Still, fans expect trophies from the best player in the world, and without taking the ultimate award home, it is nearly impossible for many to let the diminutive forward top Pele and Diego Maradona as the best soccer player ever.
That may change in 2014 however, as a very favorable group pairing leaves Argentina and its star player with a clear path to the final stages of the tournament. In the group stages Argentina has been paired with Iran, Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will be a cake walk to say the least. None of these three teams will be able to handle an Argentina team that possesses Messi, and other talents such as Erik Lamela, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Suffice to say, anything less than a win in each of these games would be a disappointment, and by extension winning Group F should be extremely easy.
When looking forward to the first round of the knockout stage, a Group F win would place Argentina up against the runner up of Group E, which is consisted of France, Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland. It would be relatively safe to say that France will win this group, and each of the other three teams involved should be another easy victory for Argentina and Messi.
So with entry to the final eight of the 2014 World Cup looking like all but a lock for Argentina and Messi, it would appear they will be both rested and raring to go at a time when other teams are fatigued and suffering. Additionally, the team and player will both be on top of their form, and after watching the star forward score 10 goals in 14 qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, it is clear that this top level is nearly unstoppable.
Of course, anything can happen at the final stages of the World Cup, but when you have the best player in the world on your side, you always have an advantage over the field. Individual performances can surely be the difference in these knockout stages, and Messi can be expected provide this lift as Argentina goes on to lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy and he becomes the undisputed best soccer player ever.