Many millennial football fans are convinced Lionel Messi is the greatest player they have ever seen. He is definitely the most skilled and can do anything on the field. However, no titles for his country impact his legacy. Messi has won numerous titles for Barcelona and at the same time, he has suffered heartbreaking losses. Lionel Messi’s international trophy drought, however, has been one that has plagued him for his entire career.
Messi’s Accomplishments and Failures
Accomplishments: Club Titles and Individual Achievements
Messi’s career at Barcelona is legendary. He has scored 438 goals in 474 games. He’s won ten La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, and seven Copa Del Rey titles. He has six Ballon d’Or awards, setting a new world record. This award goes to the best player on the planet. In the 2008-09 season, it was the first time Messi won the treble with Barcelona.
Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 to win the Champions League and 4-1 over Athletic Bilbao to win the Copa Del Rey. In the 2012 Champions League round of 16 games vs Bayern Leverkusen he scored five goals and later that season he became Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer. He totaled 73 goals in 2012 breaking the previous record of 67 goals.
In the 2014-15 season, Messi and Barcelona won the treble again. They secured the La Liga title on May 17th with a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid. 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey where he scored twice. In the Champions League final a 3-1 win over Juventus although Messi didn’t score he impacted the game. In the Champions League, he scored 10 goals and recorded six assists. Additionally, he broke the La Liga scoring record with 252 goals with a hat trick against Sevilla.
World Cup Heroics and Woes
In the 2014 World Cup, he scored twice vs Nigeria in 3-2 win and helped Argentina win their group with an injury-time goal against Iran. Messi assisted the game-winning goal by Angel Di Maria securing a 1-0 win over Switzerland and scored a penalty to beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup Final. In the 2018 qualifying rounds, Argentina was in trouble of not qualifying for the World Cup. Messi scored a hat trick in 3-1 win over Ecuador which helped Argentina qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Failures: Lionel Messi’s International Trophy Drought
Messi still hasn’t won a World Cup or Copa America for Argentina. In the 2014 World Cup final versus Germany, he had numerous chances to score but he failed. Eventually losing 1-0 in extra time. He lost back to back Copa America Finals in the penalty against Chile. He failed to convert the penalty. This led to his “retirement” from international football.
Later, he returned but lost to France 4-3 in the Round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup. In the 2012 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea Barcelona lost 3-2 on aggregate. Barcelona blew a 2-0 lead in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. He missed a penalty and failed to score in this semi-final. In 2019, Barcelona lost in the Champions League semi-finals to Liverpool. After a 3-0 win in the first leg, Barcelona imploded, losing 4-0. The Barcelona teams have always been “stacked” and when it comes to a loss, most of the blame will naturally go towards the best player in the world.
Currently, Messi will have to focus on Barcelona’s 2019/20 season with many high expectations placed upon him and the team.
Lionel Messi’s international trophy drought is hurting his status. If Messi wants to become the undisputed greatest footballer of all-time, he needs to win an international title for Argentina and he running out of time.
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