Lionel Messi has only scored FOUR goals in 20 knockout games for Argentina as his wait to win a major international trophy goes on after Copa America semi-final loss to Brazil
After Lionel Messi tasted yet more international heartbreak with Argentina at the Copa America, his goalscoring record on the big stage has once again come under question.
Messi was powerless as the Albiceleste were defeated 2-0 by bitter rivals Brazil, thus ending their dreams of making the Copa America finals in back yard of their greatest foe.
It is one of a series of international disappointments for Messi, who incredibly has scored only four goals in 20 knockout stage matches for his nations.
Lionel Messi has tasted heartbreak once again with Argentina at the Copa America
The maestro’s goalscoring record on the big stage has once again come under question
Widely regarded as the greatest footballer on the planet, Messi has endured a strained relationship with Argentina because his perceived failure to deliver when wearing the famous pale blue and white stripes.
After featuring in nine major competitions for Argentina, Messi is still waiting on his first victory as the desperation to lift silverware with his nation before he retires grows.
Gabriel Jesus (centre) and Roberto Firmino (left) both scored as Brazil beat Argentina 2-0
MESSI’S FOUR KNOCKOUT STAGE GOALS
July 8, 2007 – Copa America quarter-final: Argentina 4-0 Peru
July 11, 2007 – Copa America semi-final: Mexico 0-3 Argentina
June 18, 2016 – Copa America (Centenario) quarter-final: Argentina 4-1 Venezuela
June 21, 2016 – Copa America (Centenario) semi-final: United States 0-4 Argentina
Following a tough start to the tournament, Messi only managed to get his name among the goals once, converting from the penalty spot during a draw with Paraguay.
Adding to his apparent lack of clinical involvement, Messi’s only knockout goals for Argentina have come during the 2007 and 2016 Copa America tournaments.
Messi could not fire this time around, and Brazil took a 2-0 lead which sets up a showdown against Chile or Peru in the final on Wednesday, July 10.
Despite the latest heartache, Messi has insisted he will not turn his back on the national team.
‘Something new is on the horizon,’ he said on Tuesday night.
‘The truth is I have got on very well with this group of players and if I have to help in some way I will. This is a great group which is growing and if I can join them I will.
‘I hope we are respected and not criticised. They should let the team be and let them grow,’ Messi added.
‘Something new is on the horizon,’ he said after the defeat in the Copa America semi-finals