Although he missed Argentina’s first football game at Copa America, on June 7, 2016, Lionel Messi scores victory after victory. On the same day, he won the libel case started in 2014 and has recovered from the back injury, so he can help Argentina, his national team, to win Copa America.
Messi Will Be Able to Play Against Panama
Barcelona’s superstar is expected to play on Friday, against Panama, in the second game of Argentina at Copa America.
Messi did not play in Argentina’s Copa America opening game due to a lower back injury. Coach Martino says that the 28-year-old player will be in condition to play on June 10, 2016. Gerardo Martino also added that Argentina is “always a better team when Messi is on the team” and that their “chances of winning the Copa are always going to be higher when he is playing.”
Fans and Journalists Missed Messi
Although over 64,000 fans were disappointed because Messi started the American competition on the bench, his team did not miss him very much. Argentina won 2-1 over Chile and Messi’s replacement, Nicolas Gaitan, nearly scored a goal early in the game. Di Maria and Banega were the heroes of the match, scoring in the first minutes of the second half. Chile’s midfielder, Fuenzalida, reduced the difference in the additional minutes and established the final score.
He Scored in Personal Life
Messi has not made his appearance in a Copa America game, but he has already recorded a success. Barcelona’s forward won the libel case started after the 2014 World Cup and received nearly €65,000 ($73,294) in damages, so he is scoring victory after victory.
The case has begun after a journalist from Madrid, Alfonso Ussia, had criticized the football player’s form after the loss of Argentina to Germany in the final of the last World Cup edition.
The Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona court declared the article “outside the bounds of an opinion piece” and concluded that Ussia and his editor must pay over €64,500 ($72,730.20) to the football player. Messi decided already to donate the money to the charity Doctors without Borders.
Panama Papers Did Not Stop Messi
A few months ago, Messi was the most high-profile athlete who appeared in the Panama Papers, documents with the financial dealings of some of the world’s richest people. These issues were close to keeping Messi away from the American competition that started on the 3rd of June.
The football player and his father are suspected of having evaded €4.1 million ($4,623,160) in taxes, benefiting from a network of offshore companies. Some people thought that, due to these problems, Messi will miss the Copa America Centenario.
Argentina’s coach Martino declared that the scandal had nothing to do with his presence at the competition, though the problems may have an impact on football.
Messi Is Close to Making History
Messi made his debut for the senior team of Argentina in 2005 and since then he scored 50 goals in 107 games. This year, at the centenary edition of the American Cup, Barcelona’s hero is expected to lead his team to the final.
Argentina has not won the competition since 1993, even though the Albicelestes were the runner-up of Chile in the last tournament.
Fans believe that he will help their favorite team to adjudge the trophy of the competition in progress. He has to justify the fact that he is the player who is supposed to inherit Maradona’s place in the Argentinian football. Taking in consideration that Messi scores victory after victory, winning the Copa America may not be that hard.
The No. 10
Messi is one of the greatest football (soccer) players in the world, being the only one in history to win five Ballons d’Or; four of which he won consecutively. He is also the first player to win three European Golden Shoes.
Since his debut at Barcelona, he has won eight titles in the Spanish La Liga, four Copas del Rey and four UEFA Champions League titles.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Cathy Milne
ESPNfc.com: Argentina’s Lionel Messi Wins Libel Case and Donates Damages to Charity
Ndtv.com: No Lionel Messi No Problem As Argentina Down Chile
Biography: Lionel Messi
Image Courtesy of Jimmy Baikovicius’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License