When the best footballer in the world, maybe of all-time, is reduced to a meme laughing stock, you know something went wrong. And so it did, for Lionel Messi and Argentina, once again failing to do something in a final.
Messi missed a penalty kick in the penalty shootout of the Copa America Centenario final against Chile. It’s the third summer in a row with Messi & Argentina losing in a final, as the long drought of the national side continues, inexplicably considering who is playing for them. Messi isn’t even struggling for the national side. He played well, just couldn’t score, and sent the ball into space when he had the penalty, something he’s been struggling with forever.
Choking? Hard to say it’s choking. They never had the lead. And Gonzalo Higuain missed sitters, as he always does, but the attention is always on number 10, crying at the end of the match, announcing his retirement from international football, maybe or maybe not meaning it.
There was also the “wonderful” officiating of Brazilian Heber Lopes, who ruined the match with his decision to call on everything, sending off two players and handing out yellow cards on pretty much anything that happened. He didn’t make Argentina lose or Messi miss the penalty, but he ruined a match that wasn’t supposed to be about him.