Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi led his team on and off it after he contributed massively to their win over Colombia and led a boycott against the press after the FIFA World cup qualifier game played in Argentina. This came after the press had earlier on reported that teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi was smoking marijuana at the team’s training camp. “We’re here to let you know that we will not be communicating with the press,” said Messi.
The captain, who was accompanied by all Argentina players to the press conference room said the infringement was detrimental, “The accusations that were made against Lavezzi were huge.We were accused a lot. No respect was being shown and we never said anything. We regret that it had to be this way but we have no other choice. We know that many of you don’t play that game.” He highlighted the fact that criticism had reached a personal level, “We know that you will continue to criticize us, that’s fine. However some got into our personal lives,” he said.
The media coverage of national teams and football clubs has been criticized before, with specific players, big players mostly, put under pressure, by not only the domestic press crews but also local supporters. The move has been viewed by many fans worldwide as a bold move from arguably the greatest player of his generation, and it remains to be seen the effect it will have on the relationship between the Argentina national team and the country’s press in general.
Argentina won the game by three goals to nil, in what was a great response to their defeat against arch enemies Brazil. The goals were scored by Lionel Messi, a sumptuous free kick, PSG attacker Angel Di Maria, and Lucas Pratto. Messi was the Man of the match, with a goal and two assists to his name, to cement his status as Argentina’s matchwinner.