Copa America 2021: Argentina star Lionel Messi worried about contracting Covid-19 – Argentina and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi said he is concerned about contracting COVID-19 during Copa America in Brazil. Argentina will take on Chile on June 15 at 2.30 AM (IST) amid surging cases in Brazil.
The tournament has been marred by COVID-19 cases with 13 members of the Venezuelan contingent besides members of Bolivia and Colombia testing positive for the virus. Lionel Messi, who will line up for Argentina in their opener against Chile in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, said the fear of contracting the virus was widespread in the squad.
Copa America 2021: Lionel Messi is not believed to have been vaccinated, even though the South American Football Confederation said in April it had received vaccinations and aimed to give all international players shots before the Copa America kicked off.
Argentina was due to host this year’s Copa America but withdrew at the last minute due to a surge of COVID-19 cases. The tournament was moved to Brazil, even though the death toll there is higher than anywhere outside the United States.
Although organizers claim they put strict protocols in place, Venezuela lost eight players to positive tests before the tournament’s opening match against Brazil on Sunday and Bolivia lost three.
Copa America 2021: The inexperienced Venezuelans went down 3-0, with Marquinhos, Neymar and Gabriel Barbosa scoring for the host nation.
Brazil won this tournament two years ago, beating Argentina in the semi-final in a controversial match, and Messi said he was desperate to finally replicate his club success at the international level.
Copa America 2021: “I think this is the time to strike a blow and the chance could come in this Copa America,” said the Barcelona forward and six-time winner of the best player in the world award.
“My big dream is to win a title with the national team. I was very close on many occasions and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I will keep going until I can’t anymore.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to win everything at a club level and on an individual level and it would be beautiful to win with the national team as well.”