The Hard Rock Stadium enjoyed the magic of Rosario who made the more than 70,000 spectators dance in their seats. The team is still sharp.
And the alegríadera was formed by the hand of Lionel Messi. The best in the world was front man of the show that Argentine national team He hit the ground running in the first friendly of the tour of the United States. He beat Honduras 3-0 with two from the captain who, despite the heat, the rival’s persecution that set him a fixed mark and the rough play at times, never lowered the intensity. Thus, he made the thousands of Argentines enjoy and jump from the seats. Qatar is approaching, the unbeaten stretched to 34 games and Leo exhibits a level that keeps the illusion well up. In case there was any doubt, Miami confirmed it for me…
He’s going to do it. She always does. And she’s going to do it again. They all know them. But equally, no one can stop it. Nor the suffocation of a personal brand. Messi manages to put those passes registered with his seal over and over again behind the back of the rival right-back or into the space between that leading marker and the first defender. The ball goes there, to the free hole, because it does what Leo wants. And there, in the free space, someone friend appears to surprise.
That was the formula that the Argentine 10 used to violate Honduras in the suffocating night of a Hard Rock Stadium with more than 70,000 people, mostly Albicelestes fans. First it was Alejandro Gómez who took advantage of the exact left foot of La Pulga. El Papu shot the diagonal into the area from the left and assisted Lautaro Martínez for the 1-0 that was going to come by decantation. There are 21 goals for El Toro in 39 presentations. Demolition Man.
Scaloni’s team, as was logical, dominated from start to finish a much inferior rival that is going through a transition stage after not qualifying for the World Cup. The light blue and white DT played a bit of mystery in the previous one. He tried a five-defender scheme in the last try, but set up the classic four-man back for the match. He gave Gerónimo Rulli a chance in goal. He opted for Germán Pezzella and Lisandro Martínez (with just a strong training) as a duo of defenders. And he wanted to see Gómez from the start leaning on the left-handed end of the attack.
Over there, Papu was pure spark. He forced all the way and had a shot off the crossbar in the first risk of the game. But the lights are always from Lionel Messi. And in Miami, Rosario, who is going through a perfect start to the season at Paris Saint-Germain, shone again. Initially positioned on the right, Messi was a danger every time he made contact with the ball. He did not mind the man-to-man marking that the Argentine coach of Honduras, Diego Vázquez, arranged for him. It was Héctor Castellanos who clung to the captain and followed him under the bed. He didn’t walk away even when the referee stopped the game to cool off.
With him in tow and everything, the 10 played loose. Of course, at times they made him feel the rigor with some strong infractions, such as the bump that Deybi Flores gave him with her shoulder on his face, that left him knocked out on the ground and produced the reaction of all his teammates (Rodrigo de Paul, the first to defend him). Time and time again he generated unreadable through passes.
From left to center, he gave one of those clean balls to Giovani Lo Celso, another one who showed quality and distribution on the field. Marcelo Santos, who was already booked for several infractions, grabbed him by the shirt and the judge charged a penalty, although he was wrong in not showing the second yellow card to the Honduran. Messi, with a cross pass to the net, put the second of the night.
There was going to be more. Because the king of this game never gets tired. As Scaloni said, he always wants to play. That’s why he kept running beyond the fact that the game was sentenced. That’s why he kept up the voracious search. That’s why he gave people more magic touches, as the definition above the goalkeeper in the third. That was his 88th goal dressed in his country.
Compassionate. For Messi there are no friendlies; the World Cup is just here and that is why he leaves everything in this final preparation. He dances and makes dance with the rhythm of the total soccer of him. Miami confirmed it.
*Special envoy to Miami