Messi returns to meet his major setbacks coach

Argentine star Lionel Messi will meet Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino face to face, after they spent together one season with Barcelona and two years in the ranks of the Argentine national team without achieving any major title, when the two teams face off Saturday in Group C competitions in the World Cup Qatar. 2022.

Martino, and his hometown of Rosario as Messi, met the Argentine star for the first time during the 2013-2014 season when the former supervised Barcelona’s training, which is one of the rare seasons in which Messi did not win any title with the Catalan club.

And the sports director of the Catalan club at the time, goalkeeper and former Spain national team, Andoni Subisarita, recounts the lost friendship between the two men, telling the newspaper “El Pais” in 2020, “When Martino was in Barcelona, ​​he told Leo, “I realize well that you can contact the president and he will fire me. But for God’s sake, you don’t have to make me feel like this every day.”

That season was very bad because it witnessed Barcelona losing the King’s Cup final against arch-rivals Real Madrid, and exiting the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid and coming second in the domestic league.

The “La Liga” title was decided in the last round when Barcelona hosted Atletico Madrid, and the first needed a win to be crowned champion, but settled for a 1-1 draw with its guest, before Martino announced his resignation from his post after the match, contenting himself with winning the Super Cup.

Martino and Messi met again, but this time when he took over the training of “Albiceleste” after the final defeat of his country against Germany in the World Cup in 2014, under the supervision of former coach Alejandro Sabella.

Once again, the duo failed to lead Argentina to any title, losing the Copa America final twice, in 2015 and 2016, both to Chile.

After these two caps in the final, Messi, tired of the pressure and heavy atmosphere within the national team, announced his retirement from international football, before retracting his decision months later.

On the other hand, after Martino left coaching the Argentine national team, he headed to the American League, where he succeeded in leading Atlanta to the league title in 2018.

After a series of failures, Martino joined the Mexico national team in January 2019.

Despite leading Mexico to win the Gold Cup in the same year, that was not enough to remove the pressure from his shoulders, as is the case for all “El Tree” coaches.

He was subjected to sharp and repeated criticism, especially from former national team and Real Madrid star Ugo Sanchez, who accuses him of not being Mexican and that he accepted the position because of the money.

But on Saturday, at Lusail Stadium, which will host the final match on December 18, it may be the turn of the Argentines to blame him, because Mexico’s victory over their country will mean Argentina’s exit from the narrow door.