The Argentina National Football Team was denied once again in the Finals of an international Tournament. For the second straight Copa America, they have lost to Chile in the Championship Match on Penalty Kicks after a 0-0 draw. Their star, Lionel Messi, who many consider the greatest player in the world, most certainly one of the top five, had a couple of excellent chances one would expect him to convert and for whatever reason, he did not. His penalty kick after regulation sailed well over the goal and his reaction was that of shock.
So frustrated after the match, Messi announced he would retire form the National Team. Whether he actually goes through with it may be up for debate. Perhaps it was post-game frustration that brought up retirement talk.
The Argentines last Copa America Championship was in 1993. They last won the World Cup in 1986. Since then they have been in the Finals of those two competitions without bringing home the championship six times including four times since 2004 and the World Cup twice, including 2014. Three runner-up finishes since 2014 in the two most prestigious international events apparently has Messi on the verge of giving up.
Is Argentina about to become the Buffalo Bills of soccer? Buffalo as you may recall, lost four consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990s. In some of those years. like Argentina in the last two Copa Americas, they won big in the AFC Champion ship Game leading up to the Super Bowl. Going into those games, it looked like Buffalo would win the Super Bowl based on how well they played in the previous game. Argentina routed their last two opponents in the semifinals of Copa America, 6-1 over Paraguay in 2015 and 4-0 over the US National Team in 2016.
One difference is that Argentina does have 14 Copa America Championships in their history and two World Cups. Buffalo has no Super Bowl championships.
In the Messi era though, Argentina is a lot like the Bills. Their fans are teased at the thought of a huge championship, then let down. But their is hope. Just ask a Cleveland Cavaliers fan.