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Copa America Centenario is Messi’s Last International Tournament for Argentina, but is he Truly to Blame?

(Photo by Rob Samuels - Double G Media)

(Photo by Rob Samuels – Double G Media)

 

East Rutherford, NJ – After Argentina lost its second consecutive Copa America final to Chile, and the major trophy drought that has plagued the country since 1993 continued, Lionel Messi had enough.

The Argentine superstar whom many refer to as the best player in the world, has been a part of the senior team since he was 18 in 2005, and has never won a major trophy for his country with the senior club.

He’s been a part of a senior team that lost the World Cup final to Germany in 2014, and has finished runners up in 3 of the last 4 Copa Americas.

In a statement after the match, Messi said, “That is it, I fought hard,  this is the fourth final I couldn’t win, I would like to win for the national team more than anybody, but I think it’s not for me”.

His words speak volumes – mainly how often he uses the word “I”.

And it is obvious, this man feels the weight of the world on his shoulders every time Argentina is in position to win a major title.

The usual free-flowing movement of Lionel Messi was replaced with getting knocked off his feet, crying for fouls, and putting himself in positions away from the Chilean goal.

The pressure was never more evident than in PKs.

After Chile’s opening miss seemed to open the door for Argentina, Lionel Messi’s attempt flew high above the goal never troubling Chile’s Claudio Bravo in net.

His head sunk, knowing he may have cost his squad any chance at winning the Copa America.

However, while tempting to brand Messi a loser, a big fish in a small pond when he plays for Barcelona, and THE reason Argentina has not one a trophy, it is not completely fair.

And although Messi is/was Argentina’s best player, he certainly isn’t completely at fault.

For one, the Argentina federation is to blame for allowing an atmosphere where it falls on one man to win cups, and I haven’t even metioned Gonzalo Higuaín and his massive miss at the Meadowlands this year, and in Chile last year.

Not to place the blame solely on Higuaín but the squad as a whole bullies its opponents in non-finals, but goes 240 minutes without a goal against Chile over 2 finals.

It is too much pressure for one man to bear, and it is obvious that in finals, Messi cannot play his best, but neither can his teammates.

 

 

 

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