Lionel Messi’s Argentina reached the Copa America final

Lionel Messi’s Argentina reached the Copa America final

Lionel Messi’s bloodied inner left ankle was but an example of the bruising nature of the Copa America semi-final clash between Argentina and Colombia on Tuesday that saw a complete 47 fouls in time period .

Having assisted the opening goal for Lautaro Martinez that was later cancelled out by Colombia’s Luis Diaz in Brasilia, Messi looked animated because the game headed into a penalty shootout. At one point, he was seen screaming at former Barcelona teammate Yerry Mina after the latter had his effort saved by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

“Baila ahora (dance now)”, Messi shouted in Spanish. it had been in regard to Mina’s celebratory dance after dispatching his penalty within the shootout against Uruguay within the quarter-final.

Argentina would win the shootout 3-2 with Martinez’s heroics ensuring them an area within the final against hosts Brazil on Saturday at the Maracana, the scene of los angeles Albiceleste’s 2014 World Cup final defeat.

It would give Messi another shot at a Copa America winner’s medal, having been a neighborhood of Argentina teams within the past to possess lost in three finals within the competition—in 2007 to an under-strength Brazil side and in 2015 and 2016 to Chile.

“It was difficult at times”, Messi told reporters after the sport . “But we've ‘Emi’ (Martinez) and he’s phenomenal. We trusted him. We’ve fulfilled our objective of coming here to play every game and now we’re getting to the final”.

Messi’s influence within the Argentine side is not any secret. His direct involvement in nine of Argentina’s 11 goals during this edition—four goals and five assists—underpin just how central he's to the way during which the team functions.

As Messi seeks to feature a serious international title to his 2008 Olympic trophy , he also will know alright that this is often no ordinary summer for him. For the primary time since moving to Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2001, Argentina great is out of contract which ended last month.

On paper, Messi is liberal to move to any club he wants. As multiple reports have indicated though, Barcelona have offered a replacement deal. But things are complicated by Barcelona’s delicate financial situation.

The five-time European champions are around €1.2 billion in debt and their wage bill is causing them serious headaches. consistent with the last annual financial report released by the club earlier this year, Barcelona were spending around three-fourths of their income on players’ wages.

Having exceeded the salary cap set by La Liga as a part of the league’s economic control measures, Barcelona haven’t been ready to register new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Emerson and Eric Garcia despite already announcing their transfers.

Messi, despite reportedly being keen to sign a fresh contract, has thus not been ready to do so as Barcelona look to first release space from their wage bill.

According to reports in Spain, Antoine Griezmann, Samuel Umtiti, Miralem Pjanic, Martin Braithwaite and Philippe Coutinho might be among variety of players shipped out of Camp Nou this summer.

“Everything’s on track”, Barcelona president Joan Laporta told the media earlier in the week regarding Messi’s new contract. Laporta’s assurance tallies with news reports in Spain that Messi won't seek a move like he did last year before former president Jose Maria Bartomeu’s departure.

But Messi is unlikely to be very happy with the way things are panning out at Barcelona. Over the past few years, Barcelona have grown increasingly reliant on their star man on the pitch. With the club likely to lose a couple of more important players this summer, Messi’s hopes of helping his side regain the Champions League title will only take successful .

Messi can also got to take a salary cut to continue his occupy Camp Nou. it's already been reported in Spain that both Aguero and Depay arrived on reduced wages from their previous clubs. Messi brings significant commercial benefits to Barcelona, aside from his on-pitch contributions, then the partnership will presumably to continue despite the circumstances.

But when he takes the sector this Saturday, it's only the Copa America title that Messi will have his eyes on. Playing against a formidable Brazil side which will miss the suspended forward Gabriel Jesus, Messi will hope he can put an end to the tragic run of ultimate defeats with Argentina.

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