Some Argentinians have expressed their happiness as Lionel Messi be dumped out of the Champions League, stressing the importance of extra rest ahead of the World Cup in June.
“Barcelona’s elimination is good news for Argentina, because looking at the glass half full, Leo Messi will arrive at the World Cup in Russia with three less matches played,” ‘Ole’ opened its news article following the headline: “Good news for the Seleccion”.
The reasoning behind the sentiments is sound considering the Catalan giants already have La Liga practically sown up and, therefore, the final of the Copa del Rey on April 21 will argubaly be Messi’s last highly competitive game, except maybe ‘El Clasico’ on May 6.
With Argentina’s first group match on June 16, against Iceland, it means their star player could have up to a month’s rest given that Barca’s final league match will be against Real Sociedad on May 19, which could be a dead rubber.
‘Ole’ weren’t the only news outlet delighted with Barca’s European exit. Enrique Gastanaga wrote in his column for ‘Clarin’: “This is a reason for celebration for Jorge Sampaoli. And it’s logical: the National Team needs its genuis without the Champions League.”
“It sounds selfish, but for the National Team to work, Messi must play as little as possible for Barcelona so that he isn’t exposed to an injury which affects his preparations for Russia“.
Messi wasn’t the only Argentine player who suffered an upset in the competition. Compatriots Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero saw their dreams of lifting the trophy with Manchester City slip away and both would be expected to play a key part in ‘La Albiceleste’s World Cup run.