7 unbelievable Copa America records that Lionel Messi can break in 2024

Lionel Messi can break all kinds of records in this summer’s Copa America in the United States.

The Argentina icon’s long wait to get his hands on silverware with his country came to an end at the last Copa America in Brazil, Messi’s sixth appearance in the tournament.

His performances while captaining his country to the trophy earned him a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or and put Argentina on the path to World Cup glory the following year.

“I have peace of mind of having achieved the dream that has been denied to me so many times,” Messi told ESPN on what winning the Copa America in 2021 meant to him.

“It was like a dream, a spectacular moment. I couldn’t believe it had happened. I enjoy watching the images now more than at the time as I was in a daze. I didn’t quite understand what was happening.”

“A part of the media treated us as failures, saying that we didn’t feel the [responsibility] of wearing the jersey, that we shouldn’t be in the national team.

“We tried to be champions before, we were the first ones to want to. It’s very difficult to win a World Cup or a Copa America. At the time they didn’t value what we did, they only put emphasis on the fact that we didn’t achieve the aim.

“The important thing is to feel satisfied that you have given your all…luckily, the last time [final] was different.”

Messi briefly quit the national team following Argentina’s second successive final defeat, both on penalties to Chile, back in 2016.

But he was talked into returning and in the twilight stages of his career has gone on to enjoy some of his greatest moments.

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Here are seven Copa America records that Lionel Messi can break this summer:

– Messi is just five goals away from becoming the outright top scorer in Copa America history. As of writing, Argentinian Norberto Mendez and Brazilian Zizinho both hold the record for the most goals in the competition with 17 each.

– He only needs to play one game to become the outright top appearance maker in Copa America history. He’s currently tied in top spot with Sergio Livingstone, who has also made 34 appearances at the tournament.

– The Inter Miami playmaker will also make history at the tournament by becoming the first-ever Argentine player to feature at seven separate Copa America tournaments. Talk about longevity.

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Lionel Messi will captain Argentina at this summer's tournament.

READ: Every 2024 Copa America squad announced so far as Argentina call up Messi…

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– If Messi scores a hat-trick, he will join an elite group of just 10 other players who have scored two Copa America hat-tricks. His only hat-trick in the competition so far came back in 2016 against Panama.

– Messi would need to score 10 goals at Copa America to register the most goals scored in a single tournament. Given the prolific form he’s been in for Inter Miami of late, we wouldn’t put it past him.

– If Messi wins the Player of the Tournament award, he will become the first player in Copa America history to win it at two consecutive tournaments.

– Cristiano Ronaldo currently holds the record for the most international goal contributions, but Messi has the chance to surpass his perennial rival at Copa America. As of writing, Messi is just four goal contributions away from matching Ronaldo’s record tally.