He may have won all there is to win on the domestic scene this season but Lionel Messi has insisted he remains determined to complete what he calls would be the 'perfect' ending to his season, by winning the Copa America in Chile this summer.
International Trophy Drought
Having been knocked out by eventual champions Uruguay via penalties in the 2011 edition of the South American tournament, Messi's Argentina will be hopeful of bringing the silverware home this time round. Perhaps even more so after finishing runners up to Germany in the World Cup just under 12 months ago.
Following the completion of Barca's historic treble winning season, Messi joined up with his international teammates, in Chile, ahead of the kickoff of the tournament. Once there he relayed to the media, as per Marca, that he remains hungry for more success.
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"Lifting silverware with the Argentinian national team is a dream. This group deserves to win something. We felt really down after the World Cup," he said.
"Both Javier Mascherano and I are focused on the Copa America. We want to win a trophy with Argentina. Winning it would be a perfect ending to the season."
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Messi has spent 10 years in his country's senior set-up, scoring 45 goals in 97 appearances in the process. However, before last year's World Cup, the closest Argentina's captain has come to ending his international trophy drought was at the 2007 Copa America, where Argentina claimed silver.
The subsequent result is a drought that has led to many from his homeland to believe that the man who is dubbed by millions across the world as the 'greatest ever' footballer is still inferior to compatriot Diego Maradona, the star who captained Argentina to glory in the 1986 World Cup.
This summer Argentina will be among the pre-tournament favourites for the Copa America and will begin their campaign in a group which contains Jamaica, Paraguay and current holders Uruguay; who will be without Messi's Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez thanks to the ban from his infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini.
With an attacking lineup which includes the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and even Messi himself - they notched an incredible 146 goals between them this season - it's understandable to see why many have earmarked Argentina as the side to watch this summer.
Issues with defence?
In defence though they may not boast the star names that will attract the attention of the gazing world. They do however have one of the star centre-backs of last season in Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi who, added to the experience of Javier Mascherano, Pablo Zabaleta and Ezequiel Garay, will attempt to provide the platform for Messi and Co. to be able to perform effectively on in the coming weeks.
There are very few records that Messi has failed to break in his career and even fewer feats that he has yet to accomplish. However, success on the international stage has so far eluded the Argentine magician. This summer provides the perfect opportunity for him to break that unwanted streak, the only question is can he do it?
Football fans, does Messi need international success to be regarded as the greatest player of all time? Let us know in the comments box below.
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