Messi and Argentina started their Copa America campaign on Monday, playing out a 1-1 draw with Chile, with the Barcelona star scoring a stunning freekick.
Messi’s magical left foot gave dominant Argentina a deserved first half lead but Eduardo Vargas equalized in the second half after Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal’s penalty.
Despite Argentina’s dominance, Messi lamented that “we weren’t calm, we didn’t have control of the ball.”
His coach Lionel Scaloni saw things differently, though.
“We deserved to win, but in the end, we drew. In any case, it’s only the start of a very tough tournament,” said Scaloni.
Messi has won almost everything in football but winning an international trophy with his country at senior level has always alluded the six-time Ballon d’Or winner. This year’s Copa America presents him yet another opportunity to end the trophy drught with the national team.
Before the Group A game started in the Nelson Santos stadium in Rio de Janeiro, there was a light and effects tribute to Argentina legend Diego Maradona, who died in November aged 60, although the ground was empty due to coronavirus restrictions.
Argentina will take on Uruguay and Paraguay respectively in their remaining two group matches to know if they will qualify for the next stage.