Argentina have a terrible tournament record since Lionel Messi's 2016 return

Argentina v Nicaragua - Friendly Match

You've got to feel sorry for Lionel Messi right now.

The 31-year-old had the potential to win the treble with Barcelona and was favourite to win the Ballon d'Or, but recent months have seen proceedings take a turn for the worst.

Barcelona were dumped out of Europe in humiliating fashion against Liverpool, surrendered the Copa del Rey crown to Valencia and now Virgil van Dijk is viewed as the world's number one.

So, it can't exactly have filled Messi with confidence when the next event on his calendar was playing for Argentina at this summer's Copa America.

You get the impression that international football is more of a drain on Messi than anything else and the Argentina side around him seems to be getting weaker by the game.

Slow start at Copa America

They have made a horrendous start to their campaign, being soundly beaten 2-0 by Colombia and needing a dramatic penalty save to scrape a 1-1 draw with Paraguay.

It leaves them needing a win against Qatar to keep the trophy dreams alive in what will surely be one of Messi's final ever chances to win international silverware.

However, it's important to remember that Messi considered calling it a day back in 2016, when he sensationally claimed he was retiring from international football.


Argentina's record since 2016

The announcement claim after the heartbreaking final defeat to Chile, in which Messi missed a penalty, but was swiftly reversed after a chat with Argentina officials.

He might have regretted that decision in hindsight, though, because Argentina have gone downhill at a rate of knots since the drama of that summer.

In fact, Argentina have won just a single game from six at major tournaments since Messi decided to give it another shot - losing three and drawing twice.

They scraped through their group at the World Cup by drawing with Iceland, being thrashed by Croatia and clawing their way to victory against Nigeria.

Argentina showed heart during the round of 16, but goals from Antione Griezmann, Benjamin Pavard and a Kylian Mbappe brace saw France emerge victorious.

Then, fast forward to Argentina's current predicament and you have over a quarter of a decade where Messi has had just one tournament game to celebrate.

What if we widen the net and go for competitive games? Well, that makes for pretty dire reading too, because Argentina had some World Cup qualifying to forget. 


Despite winning seven games, Argentina barely made the tournament after drawing on seven occasions and suffering defeats to Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay.

That leaves Argentina with a competitive record of eight victories, nine draws and seven defeats.

We can't imagine that's what Messi wanted to be reading when he returned from retirement and he'll need to keep his fingers crossed that things changed against Qatar.

Do you think Messi will ever win an international trophy? Have your say in the comments section below.

News Now - Sport News