Lionel Messi turns 21 today.

Unlike what happened in the past few years, this time Leo is not on international duty with Argentina and will surely take the chance to celebrate this special date with his family and friends.

Happy birthday, Lionel!

The 2010 World Cup qualifying clash between the national teams of Brazil and Argentina ended in a goalless draw yesterday in Belo Horizonte.

In a tough game where the defences prevailed over the attacks, Argentina were the better side and created the best chances, particularly in the second half. Lionel Messi was his team’s liveliest forward, despite receiving some harsh fouls from the Brazilian defenders. More proficient finishing could have given Argentina the three points; Messi in particular missed a couple of very good scoring opportunities.

Paraguay, who currently sit at the top of the Southamerican group two points clear of Argentina, will be the rivals that Leo Messi and his team-mates will be facing on their next qualification game, to take place in early September.

Lionel Messi spoke about FC Barcelona with Spanish paper Diario Sport. Here is some of what the player -currently in Buenos Aires preparing for next Sunday’s World Cup qualifying game against Ecuador- said in this interview:

I am an optimistic person. I am confident that things will be better in the future. We have what it takes to be strong again next year

We didn’t win the trophies because we lacked consistency. The team will learn from its mistakes. We believe in ourselves and know what we are capable of

Pep Guardiola knows what Barça is and what it means as an institution. He won many trophies with the club as a player; let’s hope he can do the same now as a coach. People have high expectations on him, and that is something I like. We all must expect the best in every new season and work together to achieve it

It’s up to FC Barcelona and the AFA (Argentinian Football Association) to make a consensual decision on whether or not I will play the Olympics

Lionel Messi’s goal in a friendly game against Mexico.

Date: 06/06/2008
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Argentina defeated Mexico (4-1) yesterday in a friendly match held in San Diego.

The men coached by Alfio Basile controlled the game from the start against a disappointing Mexican side. With Juan Román Riquelme absent, Lionel Messi was given the playmaking role behind the two strikers (Agüero and Cruz). Leo had a remarkable performance, scoring one goal and contributing in the setting up of two others. The other scorers were Burdisso, Maxi and Agüero for Argentina and Naelson for Mexico.

The Argentinians will next play another friendly game against the United States on Sunday.

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