|Lionel Messi celebrating goal for Argentina|
Argentina continued their search for a place in the Russia 2018 World Cup but could only manage a draw against Venezuela as they were without their captain and Talisman Lionel Messi.
Messi helped the Albicelestes see off Uruguay 1-0 but picked up an injury to the pubis which ruled him out of the next game against Venezuela, Argentina needed two goals in the second half to comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and avoid a shocker. Despite also missing Higuain and Aguero, this proves once again that they need Messi more than anyone else.
After the Copa America heartbreak, Messi announced his retirement from the Argentina national team. Everyone related to that nation sought to bring him back, the coach Bauza travelled miles to talk to him, the country’s president too didn’t take it lightly, big names were speaking.. it seems these efforts are justified as stats show Argentina possibly wouldn’t be a regular World Cup participant if for once their Captain isn’t part of their team.
Argentina have played 8 games in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers, unfortunately, Lionel Messi only took part in 3 of those, Argentina won all three games Messi took part in seeing off Chile 2-1, Bolivia 2-0 and Uruguay 1-0. The amazing thing is that Argentina only managed one win in the other five games Messi didn’t feature in, a 1-0 win against Colombia last year. They went on to draw 3 of those games, 2-2 against Venezuela, 1-1 against Brazil and 0-0 against Paraguay, they lost 2-0 against Ecuador too.
This shows that Argentina have 3 wins in 3 games with Messi, securing all possible 9 points while without Messi they have just one win in 5 games, getting 6 points. Argentina are currently in 3rd position after 8 games behind Uruguay and Brazil with 15 points.
If we play with these numbers and assume Argentina get 6 points after every 5 games (not bringing in possibility of improving or declining), it will mean they will have 18 points after 15 games which is just 3 points (one win) above their current number of 15 points, something they achieved with 7 games less thanks to the 9 points Messi gave them. Amazing!!
Another amazing stat show that in Argentina’s 2014 and 2018 World Cup qualifiers, they have a 65% win percentage with Messi but a terrible 29% win percentage without him (thanks to @SarahStats on twitter). It is just unbelievable.
Argentina have played in 39 games with Messi on the pitch since the 2010 World Cup and have only lost on two occasions, the 2014 World Cup final loss against Germany (which was after extra time) and a 1-0 loss against Venezuela. This is not all, the most amazing is the fact that Argentina would be on 9th position if the CONMEBOL table was drawn 3 games into the qualifiers without Messi. That means Argentina will just be only above Venezuela.
This shows how much of an importance Messi is for Argentina despite not winning a major senior tournament. He lost in three finals which may be down to fate, but the thought of “Messi is average with Argentina” is just a lie, he’s their all-time top scorer and not just about goals – their best player ever.