The only trophy missing from Lionel Messi’s cabinet is an international one: despite reaching a World Cup final and numerous Copa América finals, the 33-year-old has failed to win any of them, which has been perhaps his greatest source of criticism.
That may change this summer as Argentina prepare to take part in potentially Messi’s last Copa América, undoubtedly one which the Barcelona captain wants to win most. On exactly that mentality, coach Lionel Scaloni spoke to Ole, as relayed by AS:
“No question. Messi is the one with the most blood, nobody wants to win more than him and also the one who is hurt the most when we lose. It is impressive how well he is doing, what he generates. What he has done is not only because of his footballing ability, but who he is as a person.”
On the failures of Argentina in international competitions, Scaloni said: “How many years you are in football, and how many lapses you made compared to that is relevant. 99.99% of the time, it is always valuable. Humans make mistakes.”
If Argentina were to make it to the final, it would be Messi’s fourth, after three consecutive losses against Brazil and twice to Chile. There is a chance that the tournament takes place on home soil for the 33-year-old, intensifying the pressure to win what may well be his last Copa América. However, as it stands, the future of the tournament is in jeaporady after another wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in Argentina. Colombia were supposed to be join-hosts with Argentina, but had to pull out after intense political protests.
Prior to the competition, Messi and co. will take part in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Rodríguez-less Colombia, after which the Copa América will commence, one which the Argentinian team is undoubtedly desperate to win.