Lionel Messi’s legendary international career is finally getting the recognition it deserves

Lionel Messi’s first full senior degree trophy win with Argentina was properly deserved and has compelled even his staunchest critics to reevaluate his worldwide legacy. Messi had received all of it for FC Barcelona, they stated, however what about for his house nation? Now, he has “taken the thorn out,” as he stated, and may level to a significant event win with Argentina.

Whereas Messi’s exploits on this Copa América had been superior, it was hardly his first legendary particular person efficiency at a global degree.

For instance, Messi has been the event’s high assister 5 of the previous seven occasions he’s performed a contest with Argentina. Within the 2011. 2015. 2016. and 2021 editions of Copa América, plus the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Messi led (both alone or tied) the competitors for many assists. Solely the 2019 Copa América and the 2014 World Cup escaped his grasp on this regard.

Messi has additionally received three greatest participant awards, on the 2014 World Cup, on the 2015 and 2021 editions of Copa América. He presumably might have additionally received it in 2016, however having beforehand refused to take the award in 2015 after dropping the ultimate, the committee might have chosen a special participant to keep away from a clumsy state of affairs.

He was within the staff of the event fives occasions, three being when he received greatest participant, plus moreover in 2007 2016.

In 4 tournaments, he was additionally the person of the match probably the most occasions out of anybody – 2014. 2015, 2016, and 2021.

Lastly, he was high scorer for the primary time on this newest event.

Amazingly, he ticked each field within the final Copa América. He was high scorer, high assister, most occasions man of the match, was within the staff of the event, and received one of the best participant award. Oh, and naturally, he truly lifted the trophy as properly. He’s maybe the one participant to take action at a significant worldwide event.

He contributed to 9 of Argentina’s 12 objectives, or 75%, which is astonishing. And Messi additionally scored within the shootout towards Colombia, and naturally captained the aspect. Argentine gamers expressed pure admiration at his management qualities, which have previously been questioned by the media.

And let’s speak about Brazil and Argentina. Argentina, previous to this earlier match, had amazingly by no means received a aggressive recreation towards Brazil in Brazil. It was additionally Brazil’s first loss on the Maracanã Stadium since 1950 (the well-known Maracanazo, when Uruguay shocked Brazil within the World Cup.) It was additionally the primary time Brazil had did not win the Copa whereas enjoying at house, having been profitable each different time they had been hosts.

Even past historical past, this Brazil was regarded as a lot stronger than Argentina. Not solely had been they the present champions and enjoying at house. they had been higher within the FIFA rating (#three vs #8), valued in financial phrases extra by (913m vs. 646m), and seen because the favorites within the betting odds. Brazil additionally had received 11 of their previous 12 video games, drawing the opposite, and had outscored opponents 30-4. Not solely that, however that they had saved clear sheets in 7 of their final 9 matches. This was additionally Tite’s second defeat managing Brazil in a aggressive match since being appointed in 2016.

Final of all, a phrase in regards to the Summer time Olympics. Messi received a gold medal in 2008. Whereas it’s not an honor on the extent of Copa América, it must also be praised for what it’s. Olympic groups are age restricted, however the age restriction is just not very restrictive. Beneath-23 gamers are allowed, which is the next age restrict than virtually any event. Most golf equipment have youth groups up till 19 years outdated, and FIFA’s highest age restricted World Cup is U-20. They don’t seem to be youth gamers right here, however full professionals who occur to be younger. As well as, groups are allowed to subject three gamers of any age, which is near a 3rd of a beginning XI. For instance, Brazil introduced Ronaldinho for that 2008 event. Once more, it’s not on the extent of different tournaments, however it ought to get its due.

After that, we will discuss in regards to the historic nature of Messi to Argentina particularly. He’s Argentina’s most capped participant and its highest ever scorer. And he’s just one purpose away from matching Pelé for many worldwide objectives for a South American. Be mindful, South American qualifying normally has far more tough video games than these of another continent. Whereas there are much less favored groups within the competitors, they’re far above a very good share of Europe’s minnows such because the Faroe Islands, Andorra, and San Marino.

Lots of these smaller European nations don’t even have absolutely skilled groups. In contrast, whereas Bolivia have traditionally been South America’s least fancied staff, they’re a category above these semi-pro groups and enjoying them within the altitude of La Paz is a large problem. Typically, even Argentina and Brazil are fairly comfortable to flee a go to to Bolivia with a draw. Argentina even misplaced 6-1 in La Paz with Diego Maradona as coach.

That is all a good distance of claiming: Messi’s worldwide repute ought to have been lauded even when he by no means received this final cup.

And but…

Had Messi carried out all this, and never received a significant worldwide event, folks would have most likely attacked him but once more. It’s the merciless nature of the sport, to make sure. However having received a trophy, it’s time to look again at these tournaments and marvel. The place is Messi’s place in historical past among the many best worldwide gamers ever?

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