Copa América: Big Retirement Hints As Messi, Álvarez Fire Argentina Into Final

  • La Albiceleste beat Canada 2-0

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – With a successful defence of their Copa America title fully in sight, eighth time Balloon d’or winner, Lionel Messi has dropped big retirement hints that the current tournament may signal his last battles for the Argentine national football team.

Following Argentina’s 2-0 thumping of Canada in their semi-final clash, Messi hinted on hanging up his boots, insisting he is fighting his ‘last battles’ for the South American giants.

Celebration time for the Argentines

In guiding the National team, nicknamed La Albiceleste (the blue and whites), to this year’s final, Messi scored the second goal against the Canadians, deflecting in Enzo Fernandez’s strike.

They will now face either Uruguay or Colombia in the final and the Inter Miami and former FC Barcelona star appears to know that his career is progressively winding down.

Before Tuesday night clash, Messi was not on the score sheet at the 2024 Copa before getting his foot to Fernandez’s shot. However, he did provide an assist in the group game against the same Canadian side.

The goal was his first at this tournament and the 14th overall in the competition effectively sealed Argentina’s 2-0 semi-final victory over Canada in front of more than 80,000 fans at a hot and humid MetLife Stadium.

However, he did provide an assist in the group game against the same Canadian side, winning 2-0 each time.

In a post-match interview, the Argentine football maestro told D Sports Radio; “Yes, I am aware that these are the last battles… I am enjoying them to the fullest.

“It’s not easy to be in a final again, we need to enjoy, enjoy every moment.”

Next in line for the Argentines is to closely watch Wednesday’s second semi-final tie between Uruguay and Colombia to see who emerges as their opponents in Sunday night final battle inside the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.

Argentina, the heavy tournament favourites, were much improved over their quarter-final win against Ecuador, when Emi Martínez was once again needed to get his team through a penalty shootout.

However, it remains to be seen if Sunday turns out to be Messi’s final game for his country, though he has not ruled out the prospect of playing on until the 2026 World Cup in North America.

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