Argentina have never struggled for attacking options to play alongside Lionel Messi.
From Hernan Crespo and Diego Milito to Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, Messi has partnered some of world football’s most prolific strikers during the course of his international career.
But it hasn’t all been plain sailing because, among his 123 Argentina caps, the G.O.A.T has also had to partner some bang average footballers.
The 2004/05 campaign was a forgettable one for Farias, who failed to score a single goal in 13 Serie A appearances for Palermo.
A staple member of any one-cap wonder article in Argentina, Farias made his only international appearance against Paraguay on 3 September 2005.
Messi had to wait until the 80th minute to get on to the pitch alongside Farias, by which point Roque Santa Cruz had already scored the match winning goal.
If you take a cursory glance at Palacio’s international scoring rate you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s a left-back or defensive midfielder.
Played 27, scored three.
Just imagine what that would look like if Palacio hadn’t been playing alongside Messi in most of those appearances.
Denis, who still plays for Lanus, is something of an Argentinian Emile Heskey, earning the nickname El Tanque for his love of the physical side of the game.
The 36-year-old didn’t manage to hit the back of the net in his five international appearances. Again, echoes of Heskey.
But he did play for Colon. Make of that what you will.
Whatever Lavezzi did in a previous life he’s now reaping the rewards.
He’s picked up 51 caps for Argentina despite never scoring more than 9 league goals in a top flight season.
As if that wasn’t good enough, Hebei China Fortune then made him the highest paid player on the planet. Exceptional juju.
Juan Manuel Martinez
Messi actually owes one of his international goals to Martinez, who didn’t score more than three goals in a single season for the first seven years of his career.
Martinez was fouled during a friendly against Portugal, allowing Messi to net from the spot.
That was about as good as it got for the diminutive forward who shared the Argentine Footballer of the Year award with Messi in 2010.
Now before everyone starts hurling abuse our way, we love Saint Martin, despite the fact he missed a hat-trick of penalties for Argentina in one game.
But by the time Messi got round to playing with the Boca Juniors idol, and Diego Maradona’s favourite player, Palermo’s powers were waning.
That didn’t stop Palermo taking advantage of a Messi rebound to become the oldest scorer at a World Cup, taking none other than Maradona’s record.
Pratto’s globetrotting career has seen him play in Argentina, Norway, Mexico, Italy and Chile, before ending up in Brazil where he now plays with Sao Paulo.
His international didn’t start until last year, when Edgardo Bauza called him up.
While he’s not played under Jorge Sampaoli, he can console himself in having tattoos of both Homer and Bart Simpson. You win some, you lose some.
Unlike Pratto, Acosta’s international career has been given a lease of life under Sampaoli, although he’s yet to score for Argentina.
He was part of Argentina’s victorious Under-20 World Cup squad in 2007, playing alongside Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero and Ever Banega.
The 29-year-old plays for Lanus where, in 2014, he was kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint.
The joker in the pack.
Benedetto started in Argentina’s must-win game against Ecuador and while he didn’t score he did make a decent run to open space for Messi to complete his hat-trick.
We’re still slightly baffled why he’s getting in above Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi though, even if the Inter Milan striker is half fit.
READ MORE ARTICLES ABOUT GOATS:
- Remember when Cristiano Ronaldo went head-to-head with Zlatan to save Portugal?
- Can we all just accept Lionel Messi is the best ever?
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