Lionel Messi, the failed hero in the final against Argentina

At the age of 35 and in the last World Cup for his potential, Lionel Messi will try to win the only major title not on his list in the final against France on Sunday (4:00). A final challenge for Argentina’s number 10, who had already failed at this stage of the competition against Germany in 2014 (0-1 ap).

Should the PSG striker win the Copa America with the Albiceleste in 2021, it would be the first time he has suffered three defeats in the finals of the competition, which saw him retire from international football for the first time in 2016. Back to the complicated history of Lionel Messi. Final with Argentina jersey.

Copa America 2007: a difficult apprenticeship

In 2007, Lionel Messi was just 20 years old when he started his first international match against Argentina. He is coming off a World Cup in 2006 where he played sparingly and saw his teammates beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals (1-1, 2-4 on the record).

In Venezuela, Argentina dominated the competition with easy wins over Peru (4-0) in the quarter-finals and Mexico (3-0) in the semi-finals thanks to Messi’s goals each time. Albiceleste, the favorite for the final against Brazil, misses the match (0-3) as its new star will console himself with the title of the best player of the tournament.

2008 Olympics: Argentina retain their title thanks to him

A year after his first failure in the America’s Cup final, Pulga is participating in the Olympic tournament as an under-23 player (he is 21 years old). After scoring two goals in the competition, Messi and his teammates got revenge on Brazil by defeating the Seleção 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Lionel Messi was surrounded by several Nigerian players during the 2008 Olympic Games final.(Rondeau/L’Équipe)

In the final against Nigeria, the left-hander managed to prove decisive by scoring the only goal of the match to Angel Di Maria. Thus, he made the second decisive pass of the tournament and once again took advantage of the opportunity to receive the title of the best player. At the same time, it allows Argentina to retain the Olympic title it won in 2004.

World Cup 2014: the biggest failure

After two defeats at the 2010 World Cup (0-4 against Germany) and then at home in the 2011 Copa America quarter-finals, Lionel Messi’s Argentina return to the stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. . La Pulga had four fantastic debuts, winning man of the match each time. He scored four goals in the group stage and assisted Angel Di Maria’s winning goal against Switzerland in the round of 16 (1:0).

After a whirlwind debut, Messi slowly faded in the run-up to the finals against Albiceleste executioners Germany in 2006 and 2010. In the most important match of his career so far, Lionel Messi fights for the title again. crucial, missing several important situations. He would eventually see off Mario Götze, who scored the winning goal for the Mannschaft in the 113rd, and walk away again with the competition’s man of the match award as a consolation prize.

Copa America 2015 and 2016: many defeats

A year after the disappointment of 2014, Lionel Messi returns to the Copa America final with Argentina. The FC Barcelona star, who was not very decisive with only one penalty goal during the competition, was the only team to convert a shot on goal against Chile at the time (0:0 loss, 1 -4 on aggregate). ), after the final, which he could not shoot again.

Messi will try again next year for the 100th anniversary of the Copa America with the same result: a penalty shootout loss to Chile in the final (0-0, 2-4 on penalties). During this tournament, he impressed with a hat-trick against Canada in the group stage. Despite one goal and two assists in the quarterfinals against Venezuela (4-1) and the semi-finals against the United States (4-0), the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is unable to reach the finals.

Lionel Messi once again missed the 2016 Copa America 100th anniversary final.  (B. Penner/Sports Press)

Lionel Messi once again missed the 2016 Copa America 100th anniversary final. (B. Penner/Sports Press)

Worse, he misses a shot on goal against Chile’s Alexis Sanchez, resulting in Argentina’s third defeat in a major final in three years. So much for Lionel Messi, who, to everyone’s surprise, announced his international retirement at the end of the competition, aged just 29. It was decided where Pulgan would return after a few weeks.

Copa America 2021: consecration

After two new failures, first against France in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup (3-4), then against Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2019 Copa America (0-2), 2021 is finally here. one for Lionel Messi. The Argentine went through the Copa America with three goals and two assists in the group stage, as well as a goal and two new bids in the quarterfinals against Ecuador (3-0).

If he still can’t find a solution in the final against Neymar’s Brazil, Messi wins his first continental cup with Argentina (1-0) thanks to the goal of 34-year-old Di Maria, and is also the best player. , top scorer (4 goals) and best passer in the competition (5 assists).

A performance that the Albiceleste captain could achieve at the age of 35 during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. If he wins against the Blues on Sunday, he could get the two years he has struggled for selection for the last seventeen years.


In the six finals in all competitions since 2007, Argentina have scored just 2 goals each time from Angel Di Maria.

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