Sports News of Wed, 16 Jul 20141
Messi's failure showed he's a human being after all, says Raul
The former Real Madrid attacker feels Argentina were punished appropriately for their missed chances in the World Cup final
Former Spain star Raul claims Lionel Messi's performance in the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany proved he is only human.
The Barcelona star and four-time Ballons d'Or winner has often been described as 'out of his world' by his contemporaries for his exploits on the pitch and he underlined his quality with four goals in the first three games of the Albiceleste's campaign in Brazil.
However, Messi failed to make an impact in Sunday's encounter and missed a clear chance to give Argentina the lead early in the second half as he pulled a shot wide of Manuel Neuer's goal.
Raul believes the Argentina should have expected to be punished after Messi's miss and Gonzalo Higuain's scuffed shot from a golden opportunity in the first half.
"It was Argentina who had the better chances. [Toni] Kroos, of all the German players, headed the ball into Higuain's path and he had Neuer at his mercy. His first touch was not convincing and the shot pathetic," Raul writes in his column for Times of India.
"If you can't score from such an opportunity in a final, you are going to be punished. It looked particularly bad because hitting on the counter was clearly the Argentine ploy, and despite doing the hard work, they failed when it came to putting the ball in.
"Of all people, it was Messi who missed the second best chance. He was through and only the goalkeeper was standing between him and the net. Again, Neuer didn't have to save it, as the shot went out.
"Normally, you expect Messi to score from such a position. His failure showed he is, after all, a human being. As expected, the Germans kept the world's best player under strict vigil and [Bastian] Schweinsteiger effected a few vital interceptions."
Mario Gotze eventually helped Germany to victory by scoring the only goal of the game after 113 minutes of play.