Lionel Messi has finally won his first trophy for Argentina… kind of.
It has been well publicised that the Barcelona star has never won a major honour with his country and he has suffered his fair share of close misses over the years.
The most famous example came in 2014, when Argentina were agonisingly defeated in the World Cup final and spurned numerous opportunities before Mario Gotze’s winning goal.
Aside from that, Messi has been desperately unlucky in the Copa America, having to settle with a runners-up medal during the tournaments in 2007, 2015 and 2016.
The most recent defeat was particularly painful as Argentina were beaten by Chile on penalties, with Messi missing from the spot and seen crying after the full-time whistle.
- Hazard has regularly called Messi the GOAT
- Luis Suarez looked in great shape vs Panama
- Lionel Messi’s superb solo goal vs Nicaragua
Messi’s wait for an international trophy
For many, securing an international trophy is absolutely vital for Messi’s legacy and the man himself recently admitted that he wants to retire with an Argentine accolade to his name.
“I want to retire having won something with Argentina and I’ll keep trying to win something,” he explained during an interview with Fox Sports in Argentina.
Now, Messi does have some marginal claims to silverware with his country having won Olympic gold and the U20 World Cup, but neither trophies arrived with the senior team.
Has Messi won a trophy?
However, the 31-year-old was seen lifting a cup with the Argentinean first-team just this week, but sadly it isn’t exactly a title worthy of ending the drought.
Messi was photographed holding the little known Copa San Juan just moments after Argentina defeated Nicaragua, who are ranked as the 129th best team in the world.
It was a convincing victory for Argentina with both Messi and Lautaro Martinez scoring braces, before Roberto Pereyra wrapped up the 5-1 thrashing.
As a result, Argentina were presented with the cup and Messi was duly teased on social media for having supposedly won an international trophy at long last.
Sadly for Messi, though, we’re not quite sure that beating Nicaragua qualifies as a major honour, even if the competition has drawn comparisons to the UEFA Nations League.
Not that the Argentina players were under any other illusion and there has also been Messi fans keen to highlight his ‘underrated’ achievements for his country.
However, unless Argentina are victorious in the summer’s Copa America, Messi won’t truly be able to end his career satisfied nor quell all doubts surrounding his international showings.
It looks as though the 2019 instalment is part one of a three competition run including the 2020 Copa America and 2022 World Cup that could shape Messi’s legacy forever.
Do you think Argentina will win the Copa America? Have your say in the comments section below.