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International Football: Albiceleste lost three major finals during his time as captain


06-27-2016 15:44 BJT

Lionel Messi could well go down as the greatest player of all time, but failing to win with his national team, may have some pundits putting players like Pele or Maradona above him. The Little Magician unable to capture a major title as captain of the Albiceleste.

The football great's national team career began June 29, 2004. As a dual Argentine-Spanish national, Messi decided to take the offer from Argentina where he spent his childhood. Five days after his 17th birthday, he made his debut for his country against Paraguay in an Under-20 friendly, scoring once and providing two assists in their 8-nil victory.

In recognition of his achievements with the U-20 side, senior manager Jose Pekerman gave Messi his first call-up for a friendly against Hungary in August 2005. Atb the age of 18, Messi made his senior debut for Argentina, but was sent off after two minutes for a perceived foul. His talent made Messi one of the greatest players in football history, and he assumed the captaincy of his country in 2011.

But under his guidance Argentina have lost their major finals, including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they fell 1-nil to Germany in extra-time. At the Copa America this year, the five-time World Player of the Year equalled Argentina's international goalscoring record of 54 in the quarter-finals. He then setting a new mark with his 55th international goal in the semi-final win over the United States. But another defeat in the final against Chile, the same team they lost to in this tournament a year ago, has Messi calling an end to his national team career.

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