If Copa America 2019 represented one final chance for Lionel Messi to win a major international tournament, then it is approaching its end in all too predictable fashion.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is once again looking back at what might have been after Argentina exited in the semi-finals.
The Albiceleste have, on the one hand, gone out on a high by beating Chile 2-1 in the third-place play-off, only Arturo Vidal finding a reply to goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.
Yet on a personal note, it was another night of bitter disappointment for Messi himself.
The Barcelona forward was sent off, many fans will argue unfairly, for an altercation with Gary Medel.
- Medel also kicked Messi in stomach in 2015
- Messi refuses to accept bronze medal
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It was his first red card in 14 years, prompted after he allegedly stamped on Medel.
The Besiktas midfielder was also given his marching orders, having responded by appearing to try and headbutt his opponent.
As far as Messi is concerned, all that decision will have done is affirmed his views on the standard of refereeing at the competition.
The 32-year-old was irate after his side's defeat to Brazil, Argentina denied two penalty appeals when the referee refused to go to VAR.
In his now infamous comments after the game, he derided the officials for calling "bulls*** handballs, bulls*** penalties, and bulls*** fouls" throughout Copa America.
After the play-off in which Argentina earned bronze - a medal which, incidentally, Messi refused to accept after the game - his tone may have quietened slightly, but he took to Instagram to once again hit out at his country's misfortune.
"We leave this Cup with a triumph but above all with our heads held high and with the feeling that this time football was not fair to us," Messi writes.
"Because of how we played and because we were superior to Brazil, we deserved to be in tomorrow's final.
"But we must look forward with optimism because there is a future and a very large base in this Selection and you just have to give it some time. #VamosArgentina"
It's possible that Messi will now retire from international football and it's a great pity that he was denied the chance to banish the one real hoodoo still hanging over his illustrious career.
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