Lionel Messi has surely one of the greatest trophy cabinets. The six-time Ballon D’or winner has been a recipient of every major individual honor in International football and club football. However, a gold medal in an international tournament at the senior level has always eloped him.
The Argentine legend recently put out a post on Instagram expressing his ardent desire to win Copa America. The caption to the post read, “We are ready to compete, and we will keep fighting to win every game. Vamos Argentina.”
Messi has guided Argentina to the Copa America finals on two different occasions in 2015 and 2016, ending in a defeat at the hands of Chile. The Barça legend also received the golden ball in 2015 for his spectacular performances. He also played in the 2007 Copa America final in which Argentina lost to Brazil.
Arguably his best performance on the International stage came in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Messi single-handedly led the South American nation to the finals, only to be denied by a Mario Gotze goal in the 113th minute.
The Argentine maestro also won the Golden Ball in that tournament for his surreal efforts. His photo where he was desperately looking at the World Cup trophy also went viral at that time.
Devastated by successive failures in the finals, Messi impulsively took retirement from international football after the 2016 Copa America final. “I tried my hardest. The team has ended for me, a decision made,” said Messi after the penalty shootout against Chile. However, he ultimately reversed his decision and led Argentina to the 2018 World Cup and a third-place finish in the 2019 Copa America.
On Tuesday, Messi started yet another campaign with the national team in Copa America. He marked the occasion with a beautiful free-kick goal against his former ally at Barcelona, Claudio Bravo. With this, he surpassed Gabriel Batistuta to become Argentina’s highest goal scorer in official competitions. The Barça captain also overtook Cristiano Ronaldo and became the highest active free-kick scorer.
This will be Messi’s sixth Copa America campaign and overall tenth attempt to win an International tournament. On Saturday, he will reunite with his best friend, Luis Suarez, as Argentina and Uruguay face each other in a crucial tie.