Copa America 2021: Lionel Messi seeks international crown as fans ask: If not now, when?


Brazil-Argentina video games at all times throw up questions however one stands out forward of this Saturday’s Copa America ultimate in Rio de Janeiro: Can Lionel Messi lastly win an international title? The Barcelona participant has gained each honour attainable at membership and particular person stage and is broadly thought of to be the best participant of the twenty first century and a robust candidate, together with Pele and Diego Maradona, as the best of all time.

But he has by no means lifted any silverware with Argentina and the query for the 34-year-old is: If not now, when? “Messi has two chances left,” mentioned Tostao, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1970. “He has the Copa and the World Cup (in 2022) but the World Cup is difficult.”

There is not any clear favorite for Saturday’s sport on the Maracana stadium, though Brazil have a barely higher report during the last 4 weeks and so they maintain residence benefit. Messi, although, is in scintillating kind and leads the event in objectives and assists. Of Argentina’s 11 objectives, Messi has scored 4 and supplied 5 assists.

“We are seeing an improved version of Messi,” Antonio Mohamed, former Argentina participant and now coach of Monterrey, wrote in Ole, an Argentine sports activities newspaper.

“Every time he touched the ball, three guys would be on top of him in the style of Maradona at his greatest.”

Messi’s dream

Messi has spoken at size in regards to the dream of profitable a title with Argentina and his compatriots know the way a lot an international trophy means to him. In the previous, his workforce mates had been blamed for letting him down, by lacking possibilities in finals or failing to match his superhuman ranges of brilliance or focus.

Now, although, he has Argentina’s finest workforce in years round him and there are fewer excuses.

They are not the Argentina of 1978 or 1986 however below coach Lionel Scaloni the aspect are unbeaten in 19 video games courting again to the final Copa America in 2019.

The older heads, like Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, are conscious that profitable the World Cup is an unlikely situation and Saturday’s ultimate might be their final hurrah. The skilled gamers, and the kids who’ve grown up idolising the person who would change into their workforce mate, know they’re taking part in not only for Argentina but additionally for Messi and the prospect to reward him with the title his performances deserve.

“We are all excited that Argentina can get the title, and that above all it is given to Leo,” mentioned Mohamed.


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