Lionel Messi faltered once again with Argentina as La Albiceleste fell to a two-nil defeat to arch-rivals Brazil in the Copa America semi-final on Wednesday, meaning the ‘Greatest Ever’ has now played in nine international tournaments without winning a single title. ‘Leo’ might just not be destined for it.
Lionel Messi did not provide an assist or score a goal from open play at the 2019 Copa América – converting a penalty against Paraguay.
Nine senior international tournaments without lifting a trophy. pic.twitter.com/BftiFzpCVf
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 3, 2019
Messi’s appearance at senior level for country spans 14 years, and with the continued disappointment experienced, international glory eluding him might be his fate. This, however, does not define whether he is the best football player in history or not. His footballing ability and personal feats are out of this world. Hence, he could be tagged the ‘Greatest Ever’.
With Argentina, the Camp Nou favourite has picked up a runners-up medal four times. Back in Spain, he has enjoyed incredible success, winning 34 trophies.
The next Copa America (in 2020) and the world cup presents another opportunity for Messi. By Qatar 2022, Captain Messi would have been 35. Surely, it is going to be a tough one. When they (Argentina) had the brightest chance to win a major trophy, they bungled it in 2014 against Germany at the Maracanã.
Two years later, at the Copa América Centenario final in the US, via penalties, Chile denied Messi his most sought-after prize. Apparently, that was his most painful final loss (club or country). You rarely see Messi cry publicly, but he did that night at the MetLife Stadium. He posted a statement on his Facebook account then saying: “There’s nothing more painful in football than losing a final.”
In fact, after that Chile final loss, in which he missed his kick in a penalty shootout, he was so devastated that he called it quits – although he would later reverse his decision.
Lionel Messi has now represented Argentina at nine senior international tournaments and still has not won a trophy.
This might just have been the last chance. pic.twitter.com/8AHfgID34L
— Coral (@Coral) July 3, 2019
Now, the 32-year-old insists he will not retire from international football after missing out on yet another trophy with Argentina at the Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte.
“Something new is on the horizon,” he says on Wednesday.
“The truth is I have got on very well with this group of players and if I have to help in some way I will. This is a great group which is growing and if I can join them I will.”
His country co-hosts the next edition of the Copa America with Columbia. Great chance for Messi; great chance for his compatriots! Only time will tell if destiny will be re-written.