This could be the end of the road for both Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero who, on a whole, will look back in their international careers and wonder what might have been
The end of an era for Argentina as Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero once again fell short of glory.
They left the Copa America after being knocked out by an efficient, fast and compact Brazilian side in the semi-final.
This could be the end of the road for both Messi and Aguero who, on a whole, will look back in their international careers and wonder what might have been.
Two of the greatest talents around, and two of the greatest scorers of this generation of football never quite got to show the football world their best for Argentina.
It’s not entirely their fault; Argentina in the last 10 years have never had a team complete enough to be considered a tournament “Favorite” but despite this, given the huge talent that both these players possess, they will feel like they have grossly underachieved for their national team.
It’s probably an institutional failure to have such great attackers in one generation of football but fail to produce quality players elsewhere to be seriously considered contenders.
Argentina though, despite not winning, haven’t done badly in the last 10 years, over achieving at times by going to World Cup finals with incomplete teams and coming close to winning the Copa twice.
Lionel Messi did not provide an assist or score a goal from open play at the 2019 Copa América - converting a penalty against Paraguay.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 3, 2019
Nine senior international tournaments without lifting a trophy. pic.twitter.com/BftiFzpCVf
They will kickstart a new generation of football with new talents like Paulo Dybala, Lautaro Martinez and Mauro Icardi, among others, but the same problems will still persist.
There is no truly recognizable world-class goal keeper in Argentina.
Their defense has never been of the highest quality, at times average at best, and their midfield sorely lacks any form of creativity and incisive ability.
Brazil on the other hand have qualified for the final.
Most Brazilian fans and the Brazilian football media will feel it’s long overdue considering the talented teams they have possessed over the years, and how much they have underachieved with the talent at their disposal.
Their future as usual looks bright; a fantastic attack with great combination is accompanied by a great midfield trio of Philippe Coutinho, Casemiro and Arthur.
Their defense is up there with any defense in world football with leading players and depth on the bench, and they have one of the best goal keepers around in Allison Becker, and even another world-class keeper in Ederson Moraes on the bench.
The future looks very bright for Brazil.
An endless pool of talented players to choose from, and of course Tite, the head coach has done a brilliant job since he took over.
He has stabilized the midfield and defense and given the attack a platform to take over and win matches.
However, the win has not come for Brazil without some downfalls for the final.
Willian, their industrious and explosive attacking midfielder, was hobbling throughout the second half, Gabriel Jesus, ever inspirational, with a goal and an assist against Argentina, left the match due to an injury.
Their young starlet Everton also left the game owing to an injury.
One must wonder if this will have an impact on Brazil in the final.
Since Alisson last conceded a goal:— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) July 3, 2019
✅ European Cup Winner
✅ Premier League Golden Glove
✅ Champions League Golden Glove
✅ Copa América Golden Glove
✅ Nine consecutive clean sheets
✅ Copa América finalist
Unreal 👏 pic.twitter.com/kl4xFNGVSL
To any other team it would but perhaps Brazil have enough talent to still produce a competitive 11 and win this tournament.
They will be favorite, regardless of who they play.
Here’s to hoping the final is as entertaining as this semi-final.
As football fans, we can hope that this isn’t time for retirement for Messi and Aguero and also after this tournament ends, retirement time for Daniel Alves and Thiago Silva.
They have been such great players and servants for their countries, they would be a huge miss for their teams and international football.