Rio de Janeiro: Lionel Messi can never be the man Argentina wants him to be, since that man is Diego Maradona.
So as Messi competes in his third World Cup, his best hope to win over his countrymen is with victories. The first came Sunday night at Estadio do Maracana, where Argentina opened Group F play with a 2-1 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Full match report)
The game seemed a microcosm of Messi's Argentina career, in which he has for years been his country's best player but rarely its favorite. His jersey was well represented in the boisterously pro-Argentina crowd, and the cheers were deafening when he was introduced and when, less than three minutes later, he created the opening goal with a driven free kick. (In pics: Argentina fans celebrate team's first win)