The 46th edition of Copa America is just started and for the 5th time in history, it will be played in Brazil, a nation which has won all of the previous 4 Copa America that were held on their own soil.
If you missed our previous article related to this competition you can check it: Copa America 2019 – All You Need to Know.
With that in mind, we can’t help but wonder if there is any chance for another nation to go against the trend and win. And most importantly, will 2019 be the year when Lionel Messi finally gets to lift Copa America trophy, a trophy which has been avoiding him for his entire career.
Featuring some of the best teams in the world, Copa America is by no means an easy tournament to win and out of all the people, Lionel Messi would know that best. By many considered to be one of the best football players that ever lived, there was always one strong argument to be made against calling him the “GOAT”. Messi has never won a major international tournament with Argentina. His biggest achievement up to date came in 2014 when he managed to help Argentina reach the finals of World Cup, where they lost to Germany in added time. As far as Copa America tournament goes, Argentina won it 14 times in its history, however, the “La Albiceleste” never lifted the trophy since Lionel Messi started playing for them. Instead, their best achievement was 2nd place in 2004,2007, 2015 and 2016. The last time Argentina won Copa America was in 1993, which ultimately means the team is on a 26 year long dry spell.
Considering how strong the Argentinian national team is, it is surprising that they failed to achieve greatness in the last three decades. A 14-times Copa America winners and 14-times runners-up cab also brag with two World Cup titles and three runners-up finishes in their history. But, no major title since 1993. That is why every year when a major tournament rolls around, we ask ourselves if that year will be the year when Messi finally wins a major international trophy and shows to the naysayers, he is capable of taking Argentina all the way. Failing to win World Cup 2018, will Messi and his team perform better in the upcoming Copa America?
To start off, the bookmakers surely believe Argentina has got a legitimate chance of doing so. Considered as the second favourites, the boys in blue and white are priced at around 4.75, only trail Brazil, who are priced at around 2.10. At this point, we need to ask ourselves if Argentina are the 2nd favourites to win Copa America solely due to the recognition of the star players they possess, namely Lionel Messi, or do the Albiceleste have a legitimate chance of winning the trophy. To be fair, it’s a little bit of both. The presence of Messi surely adds to the quality of the team and ultimately affects their chances of winning it all. Numerous times before have we seen Messi doing great things for teams he played in, and while those “great things” sometimes resulted in a win for Messi and his team, other times it was obvious Messi can’t do it all alone. On the other side, the Argentinian coach decided to ship some of the deadwood out of the club in favour of some young legs in the team (Juan Foyth, Giovani Lo Celso, Lautaro Martínez). This while being a good move looking ahead, it’s only a temporary solution at the moment. Then again, the so-called solution did not prove to be a solution, but rather a problem looking at Argentina v Venezuela match in the international break. In that match, it became obvious the Argentinian team does not have the players to help Messi use all of his potential, which once again brings us back to the statement “Messi can’t do it all alone”.
Last night Argentina lost in the match against Colombia 0-2, but Messi still believes that they can make something big on Copa America 2019.
Some may make an argument that a player praised so highly as Messi should and could singlehandedly win his nation a trophy, however, knowing football is a team sport, even the best players such as Messi will never get to stand on top if they don’t get the needed help from their teammates. Will he get the needed support from his team in Copa America 2019 is yet to be seen, but seeing how this just might be one of the last chances Messi will get to win a trophy, we can expect him to give 110% in hopes to finally add an international trophy to his resume.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.