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Messi dreams of ending Argentina's 22-year wait

SANTIAGO: Lionel Messi's Argentina will attempt to end a 22-year wait for a major title by adding the Copa America to the remarkable array of trophies the little maestro has won with Barcelona. “We have the obligation to play well and fight for all championships. It has been a long time since Argentina last won...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 6, 2015 | Last Updated: 6 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jun 6, 2015 | Last Updated: 6 years ago
Messi dreams of ending Argentina's 22-year wait

SANTIAGO: Lionel Messi's Argentina will attempt to end a 22-year wait for a major title by adding the Copa America to the remarkable array of trophies the little maestro has won with Barcelona.

“We have the obligation to play well and fight for all championships. It has been a long time since Argentina last won anything so we must win the Copa America,” Messi said in an interview in the Argentine FA magazine.

Argentina will be hoping after their defeat in the World Cup final in Brazil last year that they can repeat history.

They travelled to Chile in 1991 having lost the 1990 World Cup final in Italy and won the Copa America, which they retained two years later in Ecuador.

Argentina's captain believes his team can gain from the experience acquired from so many setbacks, including defeats by Brazil in the 2004 and 2007 Copa America finals.

“We are at a special time in our careers, we’re coming from a World Cup in which we came very close to glory and that urges us on and helps us to feel strong for what’s ahead.”

Helping Messi will be Juventus striker Carlos Tevez, back in the side after his missed penalty in a shootout was the last kick an Argentina player took at a Copa America, handing Uruguay their quarter-final victory in 2011.

Gerardo Martino is Argentina’s second coach since Sergio Batista lost his job after that defeat, having succeeded World Cup coach Alejandro Sabella last year, and has brought an attacking imprint to the team.

He has a squad full of talent and an enviable “problem” deciding between Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain for the central striker’s role.

But he will be waiting for Messi and Tevez until almost the last minute after they meet on opposite sides on Saturday when Barca face Juve in the Champions League final in Berlin.

The pair, plus Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano and Juventus midfielder Roberto Pereyra, will join the squad in Chile the next day, only six days before Argentina open their Group B campaign against 2011 runners-up Paraguay in La Serena.

Argentina face holders Uruguay at the same venue three days later before meeting Jamaica in Vina del Mar on June 20. – Reuters

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