Lionel Messi

Caffeine And Viagra Not Enough For Argentina Without Messi In La Paz

In La Paz, Bolivia, more than 10,000 feet above sea level, the air is so thin you can almost see Argentina's World Cup qualification hopes floating away.

It's not over yet, of course, but after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bolivia and with Lionel Messi suspended for three of Argentina's four remaining qualifiers, it's not looking good.

We still don't know what Messi said to the assistant referee after Argentina's 1-0 win over Chile Thursday, but whatever it was got him a four-match suspension, curiously announced just six hours before the Bolivia match.

How To Stop Football's Most Unstoppable Forces

There are some things in football that just seem impossible to stop. Can anyone stop Lionel Messi from having an influence on the game? No. You can only hope to contain him for damage limitation. Can anyone stop Arjen Robben from cutting inside? No. You just have to hope he’s injured and not available for selection. Can England stop Iceland’s long throw even though it’s their only form of attack? No. Roy Hodgson isn't ready for that.

How Do The Sons Of Great Footballers Fare In Their Own Careers?

Players are constantly under pressure. Some are weighed down by it like an anchor, others thrive under it, using it as a catalyst to perform well. Playing in front of thousands, being watched by millions and being judged on the most critical of stages can break even the strongest of men. Any additional stress, apart from what comes with the job, can be a death blow to any player’s career. 

But that’s exactly what thousands of sons of famous soccer players have had to deal with while pursuing the careers of their fathers.

Argentina's Player Silence Rings Louder Than Ever Ahead Of Crunch Qualifiers

With only six matches remaining in South American World Cup qualifying, Argentina face the very real possibility of having their dreams dashed by Chile for the third time in three years. When Chile and Argentina take the field Thursday night in Buenos Aires, it will almost certainly be with both sides out of the automatic qualifying places.

If Colombia defeat Bolivia in Barranquilla, they’ll leapfrog both Argentina and Chile in the table, sending Chile to fifth and Argentina to the disastrous standing of sixth — out of the World Cup.

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