Lionel Messi: Why does Argentina's captain struggle internationally?
Argentina have always known that Lionel Messi is a rare gem, to be treated with extreme care. But 14 years after his senior international debut, the Albicelestes still haven't succeeded in bringing out his best. And the clock is ticking.When it comes to representing his native country, Messi, soon to turn 32, seems trapped in a time loop. Every tournament raises massive expectations, every tournament ends in massive frustration. He lifted the Under-20 World Cup in 2005 and won gold at the Beijing Olympics three years later, but has never celebrated a major international title.
"I have to stand up and try again, no matter how many times I fall. This is a good message for the kids, not just in football, but in life. I want to retire having won something with Argentina," Messi said this month. With the Copa America about to get under way in Brazil, captain Messi knows it will be one of his final chances to win a major trophy with Argentina. Some of his worst moments in football have been experienced pursuing this elusive prize.