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Lionel Messi's Copa America record: goals, assists, standout moments

Sports Mole takes a look at Lionel Messi's for Argentina at the Copa America, including goals, assists and standout moments.

Argentina star Lionel Messi will feature at a seventh Copa America when he represents his country at this summer's tournament in the USA.

The forward clinched his first international title at Copa America 2021, before he led La Albiceleste to World Cup glory in December 2022.

Although he is set to turn 37 this month, Messi still remains a key player for Lionel Scaloni's side and will be crucial to their hopes of winning a third consecutive major tournament.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at Messi's previous performances at the tournament, including his goal contributions and standout moments.


Copa America 2007 - 2 goals, 1 assist

Argentina's Lionel Messi sits on the field after their loss to Brazil in the Copa America final on July 15, 2007© Reuters

The little boy from Rosario made his Copa America debut in 2007 just a year after he made his first major tournament appearance at the 2006 World Cup.

A 20-year-old Messi provided an assist in the group stage, before he finally got on the scoresheet in Argentina's quarter-final demolition of Peru.

Messi made an intelligent run inside to collect Rodrigo Riquelme's exquisite through-ball and slot home his first-ever goal at the Copa America.

His finish in the quarter-final may have been regarded as a relatively simple one, but there was nothing ordinary about the sumptuous strike that he produced in the last-four success against Mexico.

With Argentina a goal to the good, he picked up the ball on the right side of the box and opened up his body to conjure up an audacious lob that teased the outstretched Oswaldo Sanchez before nestling in the far corner.

Unfortunately for Messi, his maiden Copa America ended in disappointment as Argentina slumped to a devastating 3-0 defeat to rivals Brazil in the final.


Copa America 2011 - 0 goals, 3 assists

After failing to trouble the scorers at the 2010 World Cup, Messi would have hoped to experience improved fortunes at the 2011 Copa America in Argentina.

As it proved, the attacker would endure another goalless tournament, although he did provide three assists in Argentina's four matches.

He also kept his composure to dispatch Argentina's first penalty in the quarter-final shootout against Uruguay, but Carlos Tevez failed to convert his spot kick, ensuring that La Albiceleste failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1999.


Copa America 2015 - 1 goal, 3 assists

Messi participated in his second Copa America final in 2015 after helping Argentina progress through the group stage and oust Colombia and Paraguay in the knockout rounds.

He proved to be a thorn in Paraguay's side, scoring in the opening group game before providing three assists when the two nations met again in Argentina's 6-1 semi-final success.

Messi scored his penalty in the quarter-final shootout against Colombia, and he repeated the feat in the final with Chile after the two countries had played out a goalless draw in Santiago.

However, Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega were unable to follow Messi's lead as they fluffed their lines to hand Chile the trophy at their home tournament.


Copa America 2016 - 4 goals, 4 assists

Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts after missing a penalty kick against Chile on June 27, 2016© Reuters

Just a year later, Messi and Argentina experienced more penalty-shootout heartbreak in another Copa America final against Chile.

Messi sat out Argentina's opening group game with Chile due to a back problem, but he returned with a bang in their next fixture, netting his one and only hat-trick at a major tournament to fire his country to a 5-0 victory.

The Argentine magician then produced two phenomenal displays in the quarter-final and semi-final, registering a goal and two assists in both games against Venezuela and USA.

Unfortunately for Messi, those match-winning performances failed to translate into silverware as he and Lucas Biglia missed their penalties in the final shootout with Chile, leaving him to contemplate whether a major international honour would ever come his way.


Copa America 2019 - 1 goal, 1 assist

After having three years to reflect on the 2016 disappointment, his return to the Copa America did not go according to plan as he mustered just one goal and one assist in the 2019 tournament.

Argentina's hopes of winning the competition were quashed by a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brazil, leaving Messi and his colleagues to fight over third spot with Chile.

Messi teed up Sergio Aguero for the opener in the third-placed playoff, but his tournament ultimately ended with a rare red card after he was dismissed for his part in a confrontation with Gary Medel, who was also given his marching orders in a game that finished 2-1 in Argentina's favour.


Copa America 2021 - 4 goals, 5 assists

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates winning the Copa America as he kisses the trophy on July 10, 2021© Reuters

As Messi entered another international tournament, there were certainly some doubts as to whether he would ever celebrate a title with Argentina after falling short in the 2014 World Cup final and three Copa America finals.

However, all those years of anguish and frustration were finally laid to rest as Messi ended his long wait for international success in Brazil three years ago.

He set out his stall with a goal and an assist in Argentina's opening two games, before he moved through the gears with a scintillating display in the final group game against Bolivia, setting up Papu Gomez for the opener before netting a brace to fire La Albiceleste to a 4-1 victory.

The former Barcelona star continued to lead from the front in the 3-0 quarter-final success over Ecuador, grabbing two assists and netting one of his trademark free kicks to send his country sauntering into the last four.

Argentina's captain then registered an assist in the semi-final against Colombia, before he held his nerve to score in the penalty-shootout success, setting up a mouth-watering final against bitter rivals Brazil.

It was perhaps fitting that 14 years after losing to Brazil in his first major international tournament final, the attacker finally got over the line against the same opponent thanks to Angel Di Maria's winner at the Maracana, generating the iconic scene of Messi's teammates running towards him as soon as the final whistle blew.

If there was one drawback to the 2021 triumph, it was that the tournament was played behind closed doors due to the Covid pandemic, so Messi may have that extra motivation to win the Copa America in front of his adoring faithful when he leads Argentina in the 2024 competition.


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