Lionel Messi was just six when Argentina won their last title. Since the 1993 Copa America in Ecuador, Argentina, with the best player in the world, has recorded nothing but disappointments in its six appearances, hoping that it will relieve itself in the next edition of the Copa America, which begins Sunday in Brazil.
Messi is racing against time, since he will be 34 years old during the championship (June 27). He also has his eyes set on the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, hoping to win the first major title of his illustrious career with Barcelona.
A major World Cup title, which in the eyes of many will raise him to the rank of his late compatriot Diego Armando Maradona, 1986 world champion.
Messi won the World Cup with his country, but with the Under-20 team in 2005. He also won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, but his closest distance to the World Cup was in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany (0-1) in Brazil, at the Maracana stadium, which will host the final match of the next edition of the Copa America.
He won 35 titles with Barcelona, collecting glory after another, but the jinx followed him with his country’s first team.
He failed three times in the final of the continental competition, in 2007 against Brazil (0-3) and twice against Chile on penalties in 2015 and 2016. Will he succeed in disentangling it with the jinx in 2021?
Who supports Messi in the attack?
As usual, Argentina start the tournament as a candidate for the title with the giant Brazil, and candidate, as usual, to win the title, led by his star Neymar … Former teammate of Messi in Barcelona before his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian national team lead the unified group standings for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar without losing.
If Brazil take off with six straight wins, Argentina have struggled after two recent draws, but they’ve retained second place, and qualifying for the World Cup looks easy.
Coach Lionel Scaloni comforted the fans by saying: “In our six games, Argentina have been better than their opponents.”
The ex-player continued: “We deserved to win it all. But a well-deserved victory cannot be spent in the world of football.”
In the last clash against Colombia, Argentina advanced with two goals after just eight minutes, and dominated an opponent who resorted to physical play, to which brawlers Nicholas Otmani, Leandro Paredes and young Christian Romero, who became a necessary element in the team, replied.
Messi had several chances to kill the game, with a free kick and then a pass from Lautaro Martinez or a half volley inside the penalty area, but the Colombian goalkeeper denied him the accomplishment of his will, before “Los Cafeteros” snatched the equalizer in the last minute of second overtime.
Once again, the Argentina team need the goals of Messi, who recently won the title of top scorer for the fifth consecutive time in the Spanish League, knowing that he also crowned him in 2010, 2012 and 2013. .
If since June 21, 2016, Messi is the top scorer in the history of Argentina (with 72 goals in 144 games), but he was content with nine goals in 27 games during his participation in the Copa America.
He did not enjoy his last games for Argentina with perfect support, as he did in Barcelona with Uruguayan Luis Suarez before his departure last season for Atletico Madrid.
If Lautaro Martinez is the most ready to take on this role, coach Scaloni can count on two experienced executives: Sergio Aguero, who comes to Barcelona in the recent transfer period, after a long period with Manchester City, and Angel Di Maria, the star. of Paris Saint-Germain.
It is true that Aguero picked up his things coming to Barcelona, but Messi has not been confirmed after his stay in the squad, due to the non-extension of his contract with the Catalan, despite statements from the president of the team implicitly confirming its survival. The Argentines will reveal their first face in the final, when they meet their Chilean rivals, who abandoned them in two consecutive finals.