Lionel Messi rejected prestigious Copa America award?

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Argentina and Lionel Messi faced heartache in a major final yet again last week, losing to Chile in the Copa America final. This comes just 12 months after the extra-time loss in the World Cup final to Germany.

This year's Copa America was lit up by the four-time Ballon'd Or winner, with him racking up a solitary goal and three assists. The stats often undermine the whole story though. This is true in this case as Messi was instrumental in Argentina's road to the final, leading the way with the most dribbles and shots.

Messi the greatest?

The diminutive forward has been at many times compared with fellow Argentine Diego Maradona. Messi might have had more luck in club football over the years, but there is only one winner when it comes to donning the national colours.

Maradona almost single-handedly won Argentina two successive World Cups. Meanwhile, though Messi has been pivotal in Argentina's games, he has often ended up on the losing side due to under-performing teammates.

It could be said his nation has just been lacking that final touch to end the nation's 23-year trophy drought.

Messi rejection

Like in last year's World Cup, Messi was once again adjudged the Player of the Tournament in the Copa America. This comes as a surprise as it looked as though there were more deserving players at the tournament, prime candidates being Arturo Vidal and Eduardo Vargas of champions Chile.

The only difference this time around was that Messi rejected his accolade, presumably in a bid not to have to put on a fake smile whilst receiving the award. If viewers looked carefully - and reports certainly seem to back the theory up - they should have been able to see tournament organisers removing the trophy from the award ceremony.

The future

Barcelona's leading star has another chance next year to redeem himself. CONMEBOL will be conducting a Centenario Copa America as part of its centenary celebrations in 2016. The USA will be hosts and CONCACAF nations will also take part.

This will be the another chance for one of the best players of the current age to redeem himself. If he does, he will firmly have established himself as Argentina's saviour and an all-time great.

Football fans, does Messi need to win a major trophy with Argentina to cement his legacy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

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Lionel Messi
Argentina Football

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