Football is full of differing opinions.
But if there’s one thing you’d think everyone would agree on, it’s that five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is rather good at what he does.
Enter US Soccer chief scout Thomas Rongen.
Rongen is paid money to identify talent in the game and also to give his opinions as a pundit for beINSports and CBS.
He also thinks Messi ‘lacks high soccer IQ’ which renders him ‘average’ when playing for Argentina.
Pick your way through this nonsense…
There’s more but we’ll spare you the pain of deciphering it — after a while it becomes the ramblings of madman.
We can not stress enough that Rongen is not some Real Madrid/Cristiano Ronaldo fanatic or an internet troll, he is US Soccer’s chief scout for crying out loud.
All of a sudden, USA failing to qualify for the World Cup makes a lot more sense.
Rongen’s reasoning centres around the fact Messi’s team-mates are not as good as him, and somehow that’s his fault.
He also seems to be accusing Messi of selfishness which is difficult to justify if you’ve watched even 45 minutes of him in the last five years.
You only have to look at his assist for Ousmane Dembele against Chelsea earlier this week for example of Messi displaying both his natural talent and his understanding of the game.
It’s true that Messi’s record for Argentina is not quite as good as it is for Barcelona but he has outscored Diego Maradona, Hernan Crespo, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Batistuta to become his country’s all-time top goalscorer.
He has 61 goals from 123 caps and single-handedly propelled Argentina to 2018 World Cup qualification, culminating with a hat-trick against Ecuador in the deciding game.
Messi has played in four major international finals (three Copa Americas and one World Cup).
He came out on the losing side every time, suffering penalty heartbreak in consecutive years against Chile and an extra-time winner from Mario Gotze.
The point is, he’s hardly been ‘average’ for Argentina, if anything, he’s been unlucky.
Anyway, we don’t need to explain that Messi is good at football, you know that.
Just be aware of Thomas Rongen and assessment of arguably the greatest player to ever play the game.
Also, it’s football, not soccer.