LAST SALOON

Copa America final might be Messi’s last chance

The Albiceleste advanced into the continental tournament’s title decider by overcoming Canada 2-0 in their semifinal on Tuesday.

In Summary

• Messi said Argentina had withstood intense pressure to reach a third consecutive final at a major tournament following the side’s 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup triumphs.

• “I think he [Di Maria] deserves to say goodbye in a final and in the best way possible,” Messi said.

Lionel Messi (L) of Argentina vies for the ball with Darwin Nunes of Uruguay during a 2026 Fifa World Cup South American qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 16, 2023
Lionel Messi (L) of Argentina vies for the ball with Darwin Nunes of Uruguay during a 2026 Fifa World Cup South American qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on November 16, 2023
Image: XINHUA

Argentina captain Lionel Messi admitted that the Copa America final on Sunday might be his last chance to win another major trophy for his country.

The Albiceleste advanced into the continental tournament’s title decider by overcoming Canada 2-0 in their semifinal on Tuesday.

“I am 37 now, and it’s getting more difficult, so we have to enjoy the moment,” Messi said after the match at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which will also be the venue for the final.

Messi said Argentina had withstood intense pressure to reach a third consecutive final at a major tournament following the side’s 2021 Copa America and 2022 World Cup triumphs.

“It’s not easy to get to another final,” the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner said. “It’s difficult to achieve what we’ve done. That’s why we have to make the most of it and try to enjoy the moment.”

Messi, who scored his first goal of this tournament against Les Rouges, said he had reminded his teammates before Tuesday’s match that veteran winger Angel Di Maria would retire after the tournament.

“I think he [Di Maria] deserves to say goodbye in a final and in the best way possible,” Messi said.

“Time marches on, and I’m aware that this could be the last final that we have as a group.”