Lionel Messi boosts legacy with Copa America victory

Lionel Messi is an absurdly good footballer. No person has ever questioned that. No person may. Six Ballons d’Or communicate for themselves.

What has lengthy blighted Messi, nevertheless, is an absence of success on the worldwide scene. Positive, profitable all these particular person accolades is nice, however critics have pointed to the truth that he had by no means received something with Argentina and his 4 Champions League successes got here as a part of among the biggest membership sides we now have ever seen.

His means, or maybe incapacity, to win something outdoors of the elite bubble that’s (/was) Barcelona had some believing he can’t be the perfect participant of all time, particularly as a result of different gamers in that very dialog have achieved that.

Cristiano Ronaldo willed Actual Madrid to Champions League glory after which watched the group collapse with out him, and he dragged a really common Portugal to success at Euro 2016 and the 2018/19 Nations League.

Extra importantly for Messi, the late Diego Maradona turned Argentina into the perfect facet on the planet as they received the 1986 World Cup.

The Messi critics have all the time identified that it takes a particular sort of participant to translate membership success to glory on the worldwide stage, notably for a rustic who most would agree aren’t all the time a part of the elite, however he has lastly shut them up.

As he dropped to his knees upon realising that Argentina had received Copa America 2021 within the early hours of Sunday morning, you possibly can see simply how a lot this meant to Messi. Many years of scepticism and disrespect may lastly be put behind him. He had delivered for his nation like everybody all the time demanded he did.

As Messi put it, his lack of worldwide success was a ‘thorn’ in his profession. It had been consuming away at him since 2007, when he grew to become the poster boy for Argentina and fell on the last hurdle of the Copa America, coincidentally in opposition to Brazil.

By answering the one query that has adopted him for 14 years, Messi’s case for being the GOAT now needs to be revered by even probably the most ardent Messi detractor. He is matched Ronaldo’s success with Portugal. That is a reality.

Lionel Messi

Messi has the trophy he has been ready for / Alexandre Schneider/Getty Photos

Sadly for Messi, those that complained concerning the lack of worldwide success will now criticise the calibre of it as an alternative.

The Copa America is undoubtedly the secondary prize for Argentina, the primary being the World Cup. That is the large one. The one which Maradona received.

Till Messi can replicate that success, there’ll all the time be critics who imagine he can’t be seen as his nation’s biggest participant. Comparisons to Maradona aren’t going away, and in truth, they’re by no means going to. Not till he wins the World Cup which, given he’s 34 years previous, might by no means occur.

Messi should not must show himself to anybody. For those who’ve bought eyes, you will know he’s an otherworldly expertise and one who deserves to be remembered as one of many biggest gamers the sport has ever seen.

Lionel Messi

Messi was the perfect participant at Copa America 2021 / Buda Mendes/Getty Photos

By lifting the Copa America trophy, Messi has moved one step nearer to the legacy he deserves. These questioning his lack of success on the worldwide stage have been compelled to crawl again into their cave. For now.

There’ll, nevertheless, be lingering scepticism, and except he can pull off a miracle at subsequent 12 months’s World Cup, there’s nothing Messi can do about that.

For extra from ​Tom Gott, comply with him on ​Twitter!


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