Sport News Messi survives despite it all at the Copa

It’s been weird whenever I check in on Copa America. With the Euros taking place in front of fans and the mess that the Copa was before it even kicked off, it kind of feels like it’s taking place in some sort of dungeon club that you need a password to get into and you have to provide your own leather mask. Also, generally, the Copa America is a terrible tournament where every game goes to penalties, and every time you tune in it’s just six guys standing around arguing.

But it didn’t deprive us of Argentina doing everything they could to once again sully Lionel Messi’s international career. There’s something about pulling on those blue-and-white-striped shirts that turns normally world-class players into mush. Gonzalo Higuain was one of Europe’s most feared strikers in his prime. When he played for Argentina, you weren’t sure if he’d come out with his shoes on his ears. If he’d even been a quarter as deadly as he was at the club level, Messi and Argentina probably have a World Cup and 2015’s Copa America, if not 2016’s as well.

Angel Di Maria, though getting old now, was a stalwart for Real Madrid and PSG (not so much Man United in between). But again, put him with Argentina, and he apparently becomes unaware he can shoot:

Also might have helped if Lautaro Martinez, one of Serie A’s most deadly forwards, didn’t just serve the ball back to Colombia when also presented with an open net. But we’ll give Martinez a pass because he scored earlier.

Still, Argentina got through because Emiliano Martinez, one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers, made three saves in the penalty shootout and some big ones in normal time as well, capped off by a pretty solid Jesus Quinana impression:

Brazil’s got a date on Saturday, baby!

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