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Lionel Messi goes back to the Maracana after five years

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After five years from that dreaded nightmare he lived in the 2014 World Cup, Lionel Messi returns to the Maracana under very different conditions.

Lionel Messi makes his return to Maracana Stadium in Brazil after five years, the last time he played in that stadium was a complete nightmare for him.

The Argentina international wishes he could forget that specific night, the one in which he played the FIFA World Cup final against Germany and lost it near the end of the match.

Leo enjoyed a great World Cup performance throughout the tournament but he needed to appear in the most important game of all.

The captain actually had a chance to score the winning goal once, but his shot went wide from Manuel Neuer’s goal.

That Argentina squad was overly defensive and it was clearly inferior to the German team that reached the final that summer, only Messi had the necessary skill to change the final outcome of the game.

This very stressful day for Messi will go down in history as the game in which Mario Gotze came from the bench to score the winning goal.

The whole world felt that football took something away from Leo that night, he began a negative spiral after that from which he never really recovered.

The images of Messi walking to receive the second place medal were a very sad poem, his face was completely destroyed by what he was experiencing.

From that moment forward, Lionel vowed to never go up to receive an individual award as he took home the World Cup’s MVP prize.

Messi’s next two years were just as dreadful.

The Argentina captain needed a few months to recover from that horrible experience but he still hoped to win something with his country.

There were two Copa America tournaments ahead of him, he felt that the ‘Albiceleste’ had a chance to win at least one of them with the competitive team they had.

Despite not having other great players in midfield who could help Leo with the creativity, this squad was still very competitive and had a chance to reach the final once again.

By the time the Copa America in Chile came, Leo was ready for a new challenge.

The saddest part of all this is that Messi was important for Argentina in the two tournaments that followed, but he disappeared in both finals against Chile.

Unlike that night at the Maracana, Messi didn’t seem to find his game during these two matches in 2015 and 2016.

After five years from his first of three major heartbreaks, Leo returns to the Maracana with a major proposition on the table and to face Venezuela.

This mythical stadium has its own ‘Walk of Fame’, just like Hollywood but with famous footballers.

They have proposed Messi to become the first Argentine player to leave his mark next to other seven foreign legends and many more Brazilians, an honor that not even Maradona achieved.

However, Leo has a pending assignment before he accepts.

Venezuela is the biggest concern for Leo.

Messi has an appointment with history again, the Argentina captain wants to be that important player for his country for the first time in a major tournament.

The next rival will be Venezuela in the quarterfinals, they will play on Friday at Maracana Stadium.

Leo must be pumped for this match to begin, he is craving a little payback from that terrible night five years ago.

Although Argentina isn’t really competitive throughout this competition, certainly beating Venezuela mustn’t be that complicated for a player like Messi.

Manager Lionel Scaloni has been trying to put together the best possible squad for this stage of the competition.

During the match against Qatar after half time, there were moments where Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero, and Lionel Messi played together very well.

If the gaffer can find the proper chemistry between those three players and Lautaro Martinez in the starting eleven, Argentina has a chance to beat Venezuela on Friday.

Leo will always be the player that everybody is looking at during competitions like this, but the game against the ‘Vinotinto’ at the Maracana has a special connotation to it for everything we mentioned in this piece.

Messi is after revenge from what happened to him five years ago, can he finally get it?

Will Messi help Argentina defeat Venezuela on Friday? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.