Lionel Messi optimistic about the future

Lionel Messi Copa America

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Argentina captain Lionel Messi says his side can look forward with optimism after they won the third-place play-off at the Copa America on Saturday.

La Albiceleste scored both of their goals in the first half but they also lost Messi to only the second red card of his career. Messi assisted Sergio Aguero for the opener, before Paulo Dybala grabbed the second in the 22nd minute.

The Barcelona ace was then shown a straight red after a clash with Chile’s Gary Medel, with the former Cardiff City man also sent for an early bath. Both players have hit out at the decision, with Messi claiming the competition was ‘corrupt’ at the full-time whistle.

Copa America bosses have rejected his comments, but Messi was also quick to praise the team’s potential ahead of the 2022 World Cup, with Argentina 11.00 to lift the trophy.

“We leave this Cup with a triumph but above all with our heads up and with the feeling that this time football was not fair with us,” Messi wrote on Instagram.

“For what we played and because we were superior to Brazil, we deserved to be in the final tomorrow. “But we have to look forward and with optimism because there is a future and a very large base in this team and we just have to give time.”

Messi believes he was punished for comments he made earlier in the competition and he has called for the officials to improve during the final between Brazil and Peru.

He added: “Hopefully, the referees and VAR won’t influence it and they’ll let Peru compete, but that looks difficult to me.”

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