Lionel Messi Blames The Pitches For His Terrible Copa America Performances

Lionel Messi thinks that the pitches in Brazil are stopping him from controlling the ball and so he's not playing his best in the Copa America.

Argentina beat Venezuela on Friday night to progress into the semi-finals of the Copa America and they've managed to get to the final four without Lionel Messi contributing too much.

With his only goal coming from the penalty spot against Paraguay the Barcelona forward admitted after Friday's quarter final that he's not playing his best and blamed it on the pitch, saying, "I am not having my best Copa America.

"In truth, the pitches are shameful. It is hard to control the ball and carry it. The ball looked like a rabbit, it goes all over the place with this pitch. All we can do is adapt.

"The pitches are awful. That doesn't help keep possession, you need a second longer, it bounces poorly, you cannot lead.

"But we played a complete game and we were able to win."

Messi with the ball at his feet against Venezuela. Image: PA Images
Messi with the ball at his feet against Venezuela. Image: PA Images

Argentina lost their opening group game against Colombia 2-0 before drawing with Paraguay 1-1. They needed a win in their final game to go through to the knockout stages and beat Qatar 2-0.

In Friday's quarter they went through following goals from Inter's Lautaro Martinez and Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, who has been linked to Spurs this summer.

The win means that the Albiceleste will play fierce rivals Brazil in the semi final. The hosts had to rely on penalties to beat Paraguay on Friday with Chelsea's Willian slotting the final spot kick after Liverpool's Roberto Firmino had missed earlier in the shoot-out.

Argentina have reached the final of the previous two editions of the Copa America, in 2015 and 2016, both on penalties to Chile and have lost four of the last five finals of the tournament.

Gabriel Batistuta with the Copa America trophy last time Argentina won it. Image: PA Images
Gabriel Batistuta with the Copa America trophy last time Argentina won it. Image: PA Images

Messi was just six when the country last won the Copa America in 1993 and the biggest criticism of the five time Ballon d'Or winner is that he has yet to win an international tournament.

As well as the two losses to Chile in the previous four years the team also lost the final of the 2014 World Cup, in Brazil, in extra time to Germany.

Will Messi find his form on Tuesday, beat Brazil and then finally go on to win his first international silverware?

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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