Argentina at the Copa - sea full of doubt - sports
- Argentina loses the first group match at Copa America against Colombia with 0: 2.
- Again, the team fails to use the ball art of their exceptional player Lionel Messi.
- However, there is still hope in the tournament mode, where the top two riders will progress.
Who knows if that was already the power of habit that overcame Lionel Messi. The inevitable that generates resignation in the mind. Argentina's national team in Salvador de Bahia had lost their opening match at the Copa America in Colombia 2-0, and Messi stood on the pitch, hands on hips, with no decipherable expression on his face as the television cameras turned on him. The South American Championship has not really started yet, and Argentina are already facing the wall in front of the upcoming group matches against Paraguay and Qatar.
This brings back memories: the disappointing draw against Iceland at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, for example, when Messi awarded a penalty. Or the only two tournaments that Argentina started with defeats: the Copa America 1979, which was held in a different format and did not have a fixed venue, and the 1990 World Cup in Italy, when Cameroon stunned the then defending champion Diego Maradona.
There is no patience in the country of the two-time world champion
For a long time now, Argentina has not been as unsettled by uncertainty as it is now, and this insecurity comes year after year out of the same incredible phenomenon: the Argentines have had an epochal player in their ranks for more than a decade - and yet they have been waiting since the Copa América 1993 on an international title. Recently there were three final defeats in series at the 2014 World Cup and at the South American Championships of 2015 and 2016. His team did not travel as a favorite to the Copa America 2019, Messi had warned. But even he could not have guessed that the game against Colombia would confirm this to a certain extent in Technicolor and feature length. "It will take a while to process that," Messi said after the 2-0 defeat.
The benevolent interpretation of the game of Bahia was that Argentina's selection is a team in transition that deserves patience. But patience has no one in the country of the two-time world champion and 14-time Copa America winner. By definition, Argentina is a footballing world power.
The less friendly and probably more realistic interpretation of the defeat is that Argentina is no longer even one of the best football teams on a continental level. The team is led by a trainer apprentice, Lionel Scaloni. Colombia, on the other hand, relies on the experienced coach Carlos Queiroz, who has competed with his home country Portugal and with Iran at world championships. That, too, explains why Colombia radiated solidity even in the worse stages of the game, while the Argentines sank into a sea of doubt that was bigger than the Atlantic Ocean hitting Salvador's beach.