Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has claimed, somewhat dramatically, that he “wanted to die” after David Ospina saved his header during last Friday’s Copa America quarter-final clash between Argentina and Colombia.
Messi looked certain to score after Ospina had saved Sergio Aguero’s shot moments earlier, only for the Arsenal goalkeeper to deny the 28-year-old with a stunning reaction save.
Visibly dumbstruck, Messi put his head in his hands and kicked the stanchion out of frustration, baffled at how Ospina had recovered to keep Colombia’s clean sheet in tact.
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Following the match - which Argentina won after an intense penalty shoot-out - Messi made the surprise admission that he wanted to die after missing the opportunity to put his country in front.
"When I saw him on the ground, I thought he wasn’t getting up," the four-time Ballon d’Or winner was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. "Then when I saw that he’d gotten up to make the save, I wanted to die."
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Messi's miss was not a pivotal moment
Fortunately for Messi, the miss did not prove to be decisive. The Argentina captain tucked away his spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out as Tata Martino’s men booked their place in the Copa America semi-finals.
Messi and co. will next be in action on Tuesday night, when they go head-to-head with Paraguay - who eliminated Brazil at the weekend - for a place in next Saturday’s final in Santiago.
Victory in the Chilean capital would see Argentina lift their first major trophy since 1993 - and Messi, as captain, is desperate to make that happen.
Chile meet Peru in the other semi-final, which takes place this evening, and the host nation are now two matches away from ending their 99-year wait for the Copa America trophy.
Despite having appeared in every tournament since 1916, Chile have never won the tournament.
Ospina has enhanced his reputation
One player whose reputation has been significantly enhanced thanks to the Copa America is that of Ospina, who looks poised to leave Arsenal this summer following the imminent arrival of Petr Cech from Arsenal.
Reports suggest Ospina will ask to leave the Emirates Stadium once he discusses his future with Arsene Wenger on July 20.
The 26-year-old is not prepared to play second-fiddle to Cech and is likely to leave the Gunners after just one season with the north London outfit.
Was Lionel Messi guilty of missing a brilliant chance - or was it simply a brilliant save by David Ospina? Have your say in the comments below!
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