General news

Could Another Copa America Loss Lead to International Retirement for Messi?



With Argentina finally squeezing into the quarterfinals after beating Copa America guests Qatar, fans of the Albiceleste are surely glad to see that their team still has a fighting chance. Indeed, there’s sure to be an extra sense of relief considering the fact that Argentina came achingly close to winning the 2016 Copa America, ultimately falling in a penalty shootout.

Yet despite having arguably the best footballer in the world in Lionel Messi, Argentina is far from a guarantee to win the Copa America. In fact, Messi himself even missed a penalty during the aforementioned shootout, helping to gift Chile the Copa America title. And this, ultimately, plays into why the stakes seem so high this time around. There’s a feeling that if Argentina falls short again, the 32-year-old superstar may finally withdraw from national team activity.

Below are a few more reasons why this possibility is on football fans’ minds.

He’s Done It Before

The shame and frustration of that missed penalty proved proved too much for Messi back in 2016. “For me, the national team is over,” the forward declared shortly after that tournament’s conclusion. “I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.” He even added “it’s been four finals, I tried,” a reference to earlier heartbreaks which include the 2014 World Cup against Germany and another Copa America loss in 2007 (too bitter continental rival Brazil).

Though Messi did return just a few months later (just in time for qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup), another failure to grasp an international title could prove too much, particularly if Argentina comes so close yet again. This time around, Messi may leave for good.

It’s Getting Harder To Keep Up With The Competition

South America has a history of producing some of the greatest talents in football and it certainly shows at this year’s Copa America. In fact, a look at the Copa America odds available on a number of international betting sites should be enough to give you an idea of just how cutthroat the competition really is. Naturally, specific betting odds vary from one site to the next, but overall the relative tightness between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia – with Chile not too far behind – paints a very competitive picture indeed.

Meanwhile, Messi is already 32, inching closer and closer to the age at which most professional foot players decline. In what is perhaps a result of his status as a player who’s now slightly past his prime, Messi also managed to score just one goal in the group stage (a penalty against Paraguay). With his performance failing to live up to expectations and competition looking as good or better than ever, it may just be that Messi will retire without a title, leaving young teammates like Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez to take up this mantle.

A Fundamentally Flawed National Team

A final factor that could lead to Messi’s international retirement is that his national team is riddled with problems. As outlined by The Guardian, Argentina has had to suffer under a string of incompatible managers; Jorge Scaloni, the current manager, had never even taken charge of a competitive fixture prior to his appointment. Furthermore, Messi’s mere presence on the pitch has led to a psychological urge by his teammates to defer to him, perhaps too much, rendering the team’s tactics utterly predictable. Messi might leave because the team system simply hasn’t worked during his tenure.

Whatever the key reason may be for Argentina’s issues in major international events, we might well be approaching a point at which Messi will decide – permanently this time – that he doesn’t want to be a part of it. One more failure in Brazil could be all it takes.

Of course, if Argentina were to triumph at the Copa, we might just have to start talking about Messi’s international career in entirely different terms!

Liverpool’s new signing Thiago tests positive for COVID-19 Spurs edge Chelsea in English League Cup shootout CAN urges government to overhaul country’s security system At least 11 injured, 17 houses demolished by heavy rain in Tanzania Super Eagles Friendlies: Officials, Ahmed Musa to depart for Austria on Saturday [email protected]: Bristol Hotel donates items to correctional centre, children’s home in Kano Food security: Kebbi farmers get training on combining rice with fish farming COVID-19: UN Chief urges more funding for IMF to help poor countries Perm Sec urges Nigerians to engage services of technicians to grow economy  DG urges Nigerians to key into zero tolerance policy to eradicate corruption  Zimbabwe to charge travelers tested for COVID-19 at ports of entry Group backs ongoing reconciliation in Oyo APC Independence Parade: FG orders blockage of all routes leading to Eagle Square  PDP identifies with ex-Gov Muazu over fire incident Britain hits 7,000 daily coronavirus infections amid lockdown debate Kajuru: Victims call for forginess to end cycles of crisis NSCDC officer, 2 others burnt as 2 motorcycles collide in Badagry COVID-19: Why we insist on post-departure tests – NCDC Robbery Attack: NAN Mgt commends Police, Anambra gov’t over proactive response Ex-commissioner, Abdul-Lateef, declares for Lagos governorship in 2023 CIOTA gets new exco, ratifies council Expert says engineers are critical to open defecation free Nigeria Enugu assembly passes bill to re-enact Local Government Law [email protected]: FG announces enhanced security measures for Eagle Square COVID-19: Okowa says Itakpe-Warri rail will rejuvenate rural economy FG warns against surge in COVID-19 infections as schools, businesses resume Edo correspondents pledge to support Gov. Obaseki Minister did not divert N2.67bn school feeding fund -ICPC Delta Govt urges newly recruited teachers, education officers to add value to children Buratai inaugurates military police headquarters in Abuja PTF urges Nigerians to brace up for COVID-19 testing Lawmaker assures constituents of even development, quality representation. Buhari backs calls for reallocation of  IMF reserve to support developing countries Zimbabwe to charge travelers tested for COVID-19 at ports Group drums support for Akeredolu’s re-election NAFDAC vows to prosecute impersonators, says agency no longer uses consultants Oyo Govt urges residents to go for COVID-19 test Counsel seeks protection of LASU student- witness in rape case Buhari felicitates with Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, Mike Omeru, at 70 We are not rubber stamp legislature — Reps Spokesperson  Nigerian Correctional Service begins Yellow Ribbon Project campaign in Edo A’Ibom Assembly raises concern over invasion of market by criminals  Foundation inaugurates digital platform to track press freedom violations in Africa Group lauds ISPHCDA’s giant stride in healthcare delivery in Imo Deputy VC seeks collaboration among medical practitioners to solve emerging health challenges Reps urge FG to release take-off grants for universities NEPZA urges zone operator, enterprise, to stop attacks on each other PDP NWC ratifies removal of Adagunodo as Osun Chairman UN urges action to address economic devastation caused by COVID-19 Zoho stresses the need for long-term business approach