Lionel MESSI on Argentina’s Copa America: “It’s not my best but important is we are winning”


Argentina captain Lionel MESSI spoke following his team’s 2-0 win against Venezuela in the Copa America.

The veteran of the team, MESSI commented on his personal Copa America, the team, the pitches and more. Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s not my best Copa America, I’m not having the Copa America I was hoping of having. But the important thing is we are winning.

“At the Copa, anyone can defeat anyone, we’ve taken an extra step. There’s a lot of things to highlight. I said from the first day: “There’s a group of very young kids, not just on a football level. On a human level, there’s a friendship between them.””

Regarding the pitches at the Copa America:

“The pitches are very bad, it’s a shame that it’s like that. It doesn’t help us with being able to play the ball quickly and it always takes a bit more time because it bounces badly, you can’t control.

“On every pitch, the ball looks like a rabbit, you see it going everywhere.  It is what it is and we have to adapt.”

In regards to Venezuela:

“We knew that they were going to sit back and try to counter. We managed the game from the beginning, we got the goal and that’s where we messed up, in having the ball.

“In the second half we knew that they were going to come at us and leave space. The team stayed firm, it was a complete game. Defensively, we were very united, we didn’t give up space.”

MESSI also spoke about playing up front with Lautaro MARTINEZ and Sergio AGUERO:

“If we want to play the three of us up front, we have to run.”


  1. I think, Argentina has the correct approach to the game in Copa 2019 , even sometimes the execution is not correct…1 early goal and then hold onto the lead till 65-70 minutes, when presumably, opponents will lose their cool and make mistakes…then try to capitalize on that mistake
    Argentina does not have very quick right of left backs who can track back if opposition start a counter attack, (somebody like a jordi alba) so sitting in their own half is a more practical approach..but , problem will come up if we don’t get that early goal…Messi , Aguero, Martinez has to take up that responsibility of giving that early lead to the team

  2. I am delighted to be proved wrong by Paredes. Never doubted his talent but was suspicious of his work rate. The partnership that he has built with De Paul warms my heart. De Paul is a hero for me. Working so hard throughout the duration of the match. He doesn’t worry about not been given the opportunity to play in his favourite role / position – just gives his all. Lo Celso can possibly be inspired by that. Hope the goal gives him some confidence. Paredes and De Paul are two positions that are stabilized as far as I am concerned. Still think Scaloni can improve his decision making. Bringing on ADM was highly suspect and not giving enough minutes to Dybala was also incorrect IMO. Lautaro has also worked hard to cement his place in the eleven. Having dominated completely till the first goal was superb. But giving up so much of possession after that is playing with fire. Guys have to work harder to beat Brazil, Chile or Uruguay.

  3. It’s OK, Capt. I hope the best for you, your squads, and Argentina National Football Team in Copa America 2019…

    Be the champion! Go Tango! VAMOS ARGENTINA!

    God bless everyone…

  4. Effort effort and effort. From my observation I saw many play where the closest player to a Venezuelan with the ball was Messi and he, literally, just stand there not bothering to do anything, defend. Sometimes Messi can be so uninspiring. And play no hard at all. Hope Brazil wakes him up.

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  6. “If we put a midfielder instead of Palacio (Rodrigo), we would not have scored that goal”

    That was what Sabella said in a 1-0 extra time victory over Switzerland.

    Lionel Messi, Di Maria, Higuain, and Lavezzi played the role of the fantastic four against Switzerland in WC 2014 second round. Aguero was injured and instead of a midfielder, a forward Lavezzi was the replacement.

    In the second half, Palacio, another forward entered the game replacing Lavezzi.

    Why Sabella said that? Because he said that a forward instinct is different from a midfielder. A forward would tend to go forward. What happened was Palacio stole the game in an extremely rare counter attack against a very disciplined Switzerland, and passed it to Messi and Messi passed it to Di Maria and scored.

    Why do I say this? Let me repeat what I said again: The fantastic four tactic is back!

    Scaloni does not copy Barcelona. He does copy Sabella’s 2014 tactic. He copies his tactic because he knows that is the only formation that Messi and Aguero, his 2 starters and 2 stars are familiar with. He copies Sabella because he knows it will take a long time to play with the tactic he wants.

    The new fantastic four of De Paul-Messi-Aguero-Martinez are still in progress, but I see their chemistry is improving at least by doubled since their last match against Qatar. I know it will improve more and more.

    Di Maria? I followed PSG this year. There were times where Neymar and Cavani both were out. Tuchel, a huge fan of Di Maria, made a change that played Di Maria and Mbappe as forwards in 4-4-2. They responded wonderfully as they looked as the world deadliest duo for many games.

    So Di Maria IS a forward now. Finally Scaloni saw that. That is why I like what Lautaro Martinez was doing. I think the coach told him to run like crazy for about 60 mins or so, noy worrying about his stamina because someone else was going to replace him in the second half. Di Maria’s new role is a back up forward now. He and Dybala are the back ups for Messi-Aguero-Martinez.

    Some was happy seeing Di Maria on the right, no he was playing a forward just like Martinez. He just happened to operate on the right more to help the defense there because Venezuela’s main attack is from the left, their number 7.

    De Paul has been amazing, his work rate is crazy. Probably the hardest worker I have ever seen wearing Argentina jersey in a long time. He clearly played the role of Di Maria of 2013-2014 of Real Madrid and Sabella’s Argentina who both played him as a box to box midfielder.

    I am just glad that Scaloni figures this out finally. He has found his best 11 and his best 3-4 subs which are: Di Maria, Dybala, Lo Celso, and Saravia. These 15 players are the cores of the team. Let him master his tactic and grow from there.

    My most favorite stats of yesterday: Argentina only had 40.2% ball possession against Venezuela but a lot of shots on goals! That is typical Sabella’s!

    Martino and Sampaoli both are Bielsa’s disciples who emphasize on ball possession, not Sabella’s and “his groups”.

    Foyth played not bad only because of the referee. Had the referee been against us, we would have conceded at least 1 PK. For me Saravia needs to start the next game. Foyth’s weakness is always he likes to commit unnecessary foul for being too aggressive. That is too dangerous.

    For those who want Scaloni not to keep changing his team, well he has found his 15 players rotation. He will just make changes based on those 15.

    Last but not least, I was so touched when I saw those fans believed in the team again. They were singing again. They almost, like most of us, lost their hopes in the team after 2 ugly games in the first 2 games, but not they know that they are watching Argentina.

    I expect Brazil to dominate the match about 57-58 % ball percentage against us and we play counter attack. I believe we would win.

    • I don’t agree with you on Foyth:. He was solid and importantly did not lose his back to speedier flank attacks. He wasn’t perfect, and made a couple of fine line tackles. You say it’s lucky that he didn’t get called, but honestly none of those were clear Pks. Mascherano made a career out of such tackles.

      He’s young and still has to progress. But Argentina overall looked less vulnerable in Defense and in large part that was because both Tag and Foyth didn’t surrender too much space.

    • This is true. It also shows that Scaloni is flexible and is a pragmatist not an idealist. His preference as a Sampaoli student is to play a different game designed to play out to the wings and hold the ball in possession. But he doesn’t have the players to do this, specifically because Messi drifts toward the middle. So he’s moved to a more realistic approach based on what he has at his disposal. A move that won’t make Menottistas happy but will make Bilardistas and Sabellistas proud.

  7. Messi has done enough to have other players perform in the team. Atlast Scaloni Found a way for the team to perform with Messi. Messi will be our Enganche. The new team needs him more than ever. I dont care as long as team is winning. Messi scoring wil be the cherry on top. Lets leave him alone and he ll talk with his feet.
    Without Messi our team will be runned over by other teams. Messi always keep extra opposition players busy around him. He keeps the fear on them. Or else….

  8. He looks on the pitch like on the picture above.

    However I’ve been saying on several occasions that Argentina will not reborn as a team till Messi either retire or will be descending in form with age or at least retreat into the shadows. If the center of gravity will be shifted from him to other players and he will have quiet games then something quite new may begins. And when everyone start to forget about Messi then he will ring the bell in some important moment for us. Maybe semi or final.

  9. People should just chill and don’t be disappointed with Messi’s performance level. He did alright, not to Messi’s standards though. We should be happy as the team as a whole carries itself, Messi does not carry the team on his shoulders anymore. and that’s what we all want, right? players are stepping up slowly which is very good.


    • lol ronado still playing for portugal didnt they play well…put messi on CF role but the problem in he didnt get the service from midfiled like ronaldo get in portugal..first two maches we played with 2 CF and they didnt get any clear chances from midfield..but from qatar game when messi play no 10 role we creat so many chances for midfield..

  10. De Paul , Paredes and Lautaro saved Messi thus far and now we will see the real Pulga against Brazil. Win or loss Viva Albiceleste <3

  11. We badly missing 2 spots. I think it is pablo sorin and maschirano.arg. can use taglfc/ j.correa in place of sorin and paredes/ ascicabar in place if maschi.
    Experimenting too much in middle cause problems in thr unity. Changing players always not a gud idea..

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