Lionel Messi has another opportunity to win an international trophy with Argentina.
La Albiceleste are through to the semi-final of the Copa America following a 2-0 win against Venezuela on Friday.
A highly-anticipated clash against against hosts Brazil awaits Lionel Scaloni’s side, who have tasted defeat in four finals since 2007.
Messi has featured in all four of those matches and the sadness was enough to cause him to retire from international football in 2016.
But he’s back and is now two games away from achieving his dream.
- Messi sang national anthem before Venezuela win
- Messi once single-handedly destroyed Brazil
- Argentina’s Rodrigo De Paul tackled by a pigeon
However, Argentina haven’t seen the best of their star man in Brazil so far.
He’s scored just once in the tournament - a penalty in a 1-1 draw against Paraguay - his performances so far overshadowed by the form of Lautaro Martinez.
Messi slams poor pitches
Messi acknowledged that his performances haven’t been at his usual standard, but said the poor pitches haven’t helped.
“I am not having my best Copa America," he told reporters at the final whistle, per Goal.
"In truth, the pitches are shameful. It is hard to control the ball and carry it.
"The ball looked like a rabbit, it goes all over the place with this pitch. All we can do is adapt.
"The pitches are awful. That doesn't help keep possession, you need a second longer, it bounces poorly, you cannot lead.
"But we played a complete game and we were able to win."
Argentina are rounding into form at the right time, though, winning their past two matches 2-0.
And it must concern their opponents that Messi can still find another few gears.
Indeed, Scaloni is backing the No.10 to shine as the tournament continues.
“I think, along with many other people, that he [Messi] is an essential addition on the pitch," the Argentina coach said, per Goal.
"If you were here to see how much he contributes in the dressing room, how much he contributes on the pitch for his team-mates, maybe you would think differently.
"I can assure you he is a big part of the team, we have no doubts about that."News Now - Sport News