The Argentine player was frustrated after a 1-1 draw with Chile; Paraguay ranks first in Group A after the victory over Bolivia.
Lionel Messi scored a brilliant free kick, but that was not enough to win three points for Argentina, who on Monday evening had Chile 1-1 against Chile in their Copa America start.
Before the match began at the Nilton Santos Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, fans were surprised by an emotional tribute to Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who died in November at the age of 60.
Messi, who turns 34 this month, said before the match that winning with his national team is “the biggest dream” of his decorated career, despite all the individual success and club titles he won with the Barcelona.
Argentina seemed ready to start giving Messi what he longs for. Coach Lionel Scaloni’s lineup missed three clear chances between the 16th and 18th minutes, one from Lautaro Martínez and two from Nicolas Gonzalez.
And then Messi opened the scoring in the 33rd minute after a foul by Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could not stop even though he touched the ball on the left.
Chile transformed into a more aggressive team in the second half and won a penalty after a video review.
Arturo Vidal’s curling free kick almost found the goal for Eduardo Vidal, but the visitors’ keeper somehow managed to get ahold of it.
“This match got complicated for us,” said an exhausted Messi after the draw. “We needed to be calm, have control of possession and play faster. The penalty also changed the game.
Chilean Vidal said getting a draw despite Messi’s performance was a good result for his team, which is in transition with new coach Martin Lasarte.
“Leo always makes you change your training. Thank God we got a draw, “he said.” We are still recovering our intensity, changing the system a bit. It was a tough game, we tried to keep order. “
Paraguay leads Group A after a 3-1 win over Bolivia at the Goiania Olympic Stadium.
Bolivia scored the first goal with a penalty in the first half by Erwin Saavedra, but Paraguay changed their fortunes after the break with goals from Alejandro Romero and a thrashing from Angel Romero.
The positions of Group A, after the first day of CONMEBOL # CopaAmérica 🇵🇾 🇦🇷 🇨🇱 🇺🇾 🇧🇴
– Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 15, 2021