Opinion: Lionel Messi will elevate himself above Maradona with a Copa America win for Argentina

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At 34 years of age, Lionel Messi doesn’t have too long left at the top for club or country, and there’s still one thing missing from his extensive portfolio of titles.

Despite having come close on many occasions, Argentina haven’t won a trophy in Messi’s professional career.

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La Albiceleste were a Gonzalo Higuain miss away from winning the World Cup against Germany, and were twice defeated by Chile in Copa America finals.

Sunday’s opponents in this tournament’s edition of the final, Brazil, last beat Argentina at this stage in 2007. How Messi would love to reverse his country’s fortunes in their eternal rival’s own backyard.

Lionel Messi will face Brazil on Sunday looking to make history

With four goals and five assists at the tournament, he is only one goal away from Diego Maradona’s five (and five assists) from World Cup 86, a tournament that was definitive in elevating Maradona to the pinnacle of world football.

Messi has achieved virtually everything there is to achieve in football, apart from a title with Argentina.

Two goals would put him ahead of Pele as the all-time holder of most Conmebol goals, but whether he scores or not on Sunday, surely a win would shut down the arguments for good.

He would have to be acknowledged as Argentina’s greatest ever player…

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