Messi will have the chance to finally win an international trophy when Argentina take on Brazil in the final of the Copa America on Sunday.
Over the past decade and a half, there has been a raging debate about who the best footballer of all time is. Obviously, the answer that most people give is either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. The fans of both sets of players seem to make strong cases for their respective favourite, but one area where Ronaldo has clearly done better than Messi is the international stage. The Juventus forward has won the Euros with Portugal whereas an international trophy still eludes Messi. The Argentine will have the chance to finally win an international trophy when Argentina take on Brazil in the final of the Copa America on Sunday. Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni, however, said that Messi was the greatest of all time with or without a trophy with the country.
“Win or don’t win, he will continue being the best footballer in history, he doesn’t need to win a title to demonstrate it. Obviously, we want to win because we haven’t made all this effort not to break the bubble. In the background, whether Leo wins or doesn’t, he has already demonstrated that he is the best in history, and even the opponents recognise it,” Scaloni said ahead of possibly one of the biggest matches of his tenure.
It is rather ridiculous to think that Messi is yet to win an international crown after all his years in football. The 34-year-old has won countless domestic and individual awards for his performances, and is leagues above anyone else in the history of the game, barring Ronaldo. However, unlike his Portuguese counterpart, Messi is yet to bag an international trophy. He has come close on several occasions in the past.
The excruciating loss in the final of the 2014 world cup is something that all fans of Argentina will remember. The blue and white was the better team, on the night against the Germans. Had Gonzalo Higuain taken his chance, Messi might well have been a world cup winner at this point, but it was just not meant to be.
The second heartbreak came just two years later, at the 2016 Copa America. Argentina had to beat Chile to win the trophy. They ended up losing the match on penalties. The loss broke Messi so much that he ended up announcing retirement from international football. He overturned his decision eventually as he was too overwhelmed by emotions at the time.
However, the good thing is that there will not be a bigger stage. For Messi to win his first international trophy at the 2021 Copa America would be like a perfect story. He will have the chance to do it against his side’s most bitter rivals, in one of the greatest fixtures ever in the history of the sport. What is even better is that Argentina could very well beat Brazil in their own backyard. Should Argentina succeed in the match, Messi will have finally won the one thing that he has always yearned for, and there is no doubt that he will have deserved it.