Let's not beat around the bush: Lionel Messi has a dire goal-scoring record in knockout games for Argentina.
The fact of the matter is that Messi will always be held to incredibly high standards and his teammates on international duty consistently fall short of the level at Barcelona.
Messi has now played in nine major competitions for Argentina and is still waiting on his first victory, despite making the final at three Copa America tournaments and the 2014 World Cup.
This year, Argentina never looked like they stood a chance and failed to beat both Colombia and Paraguay during the group stages proved the writing was on the wall.
They managed to regain their composure to put Qatar and Venezuela to the sword, but goals from Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus saw Brazil overcome them in the semi-finals.
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Messi only managed to write his name on the scoresheet once during the tournament, converting from the penalty spot during the Paraguay draw.
In fact, the 32-year-old failed to contribute a single goal or assist from open play, while also drawing a blank in both of the knockout games.
It matches a surprising theme when it comes to Messi, who has only actually scored knockout goals during the 2007 and 2016 Copa America tournaments.
Messi's awful knockout record
His first knockout appearance came during the 2006 World Cup, but a cameo from the bench against Mexico wasn't enough time for him to make the scoresheet.
As we've said, two goals came at the following year's Copa America, yet he failed to find the net during the next 2011 and 2015 editions as well as the 2010 and 2014 World Cups.
Messi added two more goals to his collection at Copa America Centenario, only for normal service to be resumed at the 2018 World Cup and the latest tournament this summer.
For a man who has broken every record under the sun at Barcelona and won five Ballon d'Or titles, a record of four goals in 20 appearances is most definitely underwhelming.
It's even more alarming to consider that he didn't score a single knockout goal in seven of the nine international tournaments that he's appeared in.
Does that mean that Argentina have been void of Messi's influence? Absolutely not, and nobody has more assists at the World Cup than the Barcelona, for example.
But even with a floundering Argentina squad around him, even Messi himself will know that bigger performances are needed in the games that truly matter.
Do you think Messi will ever win an international trophy? Have your say in the comments section below.News Now - Sport News