Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Messi vows to play on after latest Argentina heartache

Lionel Messi vowed to extend his international career after yet another bid to win a major title with Argentina ended in failure at the Copa America on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Barcelona star, who infamously quit international football after Argentina’s defeat in the 2016 Copa America Centenario final, said he had no plans to hang up his boots after a 2-0 semi-final loss to Brazil.

“If I can still help in any way, I will continue to do so. I feel really good in this group,” said the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

“This is a good, talented generation who showed that they love the national team,” he added.

“They have a future and great foundations, they just need to be given time.”

Messi will get another chance to break his tournament duck next year when the Copa America takes place in Argentina and Colombia, with the 2022 World Cup looming further on the horizon.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni meanwhile insisted his new-look squad had a bright future despite the defeat.

“Without a doubt, today we showed that this group of players feel the jersey like no-one else,” he said.

“We showed an image for the future of this squad and these players and the great path they are on.

“To play in this stadium, in these conditions and to be superior to our opponents.

“It doesn’t matter because they’re going to the final but if we’re aware of what we did today then there’s only positives.”

He said the defeat was “unfair” claiming that “no other team has created as many goalscoring chances against Brazil as we did.”

Messi’s best chance came on 57 minutes when he volleyed against the post. Scaloni said the veteran was Argentina’s “standard-bearer.”

“Brazil were continuously trying to stop passes from reaching him and we kept looking for ways to get him the ball,” Scaloni said.

“It was thrilling to see him play. It didn’t work out today but he’ll have his rematch and the whole squad will have their rematch.”

Scaloni was unhappy with some of Ecuadoran referee Roddy Zambrano’s decisions, not least the fact that Argentina picked up six bookings to Brazil’s two.

“I didn’t like the referee, I don’t usually make those comments,” he said.

“I don’t think he was qualified for a match of this level.”

He added: “If a midfielder player is on a yellow card this changes things. There were a lot of small details where the match started to lose its balance because of those decisions.”

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

R15m to rid Gauteng of dirty air

The World Bank is funding a plan to deal with air pollution in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and Johannesburg

More top stories

South Africa Navy’s strike craft lands in Mozambique

We reveal details of the South African National Defence Force’s contribution to the Southern African Development Community’s military mission to rid Mozambique of insurgents

The 30-day rule: Why you have to wait for a...

Scientists know that people who have had Covid still benefit from getting vaccinated with at least one shot of the vaccine. But can you get vaccinated while you have Covid?

RECAP: Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Malawi moves to Maggie Mkandawire’s beat

Empowering her people through music and education, Maggie Mkandawire fights the Covid-19 pandemic in her own unique way
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×