Messi launches tirade at referees after Copa misfortune

Argentina skipper Lionel Messi shot the administering after the group’s 2-0 misfortune to Brazil in the Copa America elimination rounds that knocked them out of the competition.

Brazil progressed to the last over their archrivals in a feisty, physical match at Mineirão arena in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino. The hosts will confront either Peru or Chile in Sunday’s last at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

While the competition has been tormented by lengthy stoppages for the video assistant referee (VAR), Ecuadoran referee Roddy Zambrano liked to let the game run, which enraged Argentina when VAR did not become possibly the most important factor on a few events.

“[The officials] were tired of making bulls— calls at this Copa and they didn’t go to VAR. It was unbelievable,” Messi said after the loss.

“It was like that all match. It was bulls— that they were doing it all match. There is no excuse — it must be looked into. Hopefully, CONMEBOL does something about these kind of referees.

“Because we did everything to try and advance but [the officials] stacked the deck against us. I don’t believe they will do anything because Brazil controls everything, so it is very complicated. But I don’t think we should feel bad for anything. It didn’t happen and we had bad luck.”

Messi, who still has not won a noteworthy title with Argentina, was more powerful than in his first few matches here however was as yet a shadow of the player who had won everything with Barcelona.

I’m upset because we had a great match, a great effort,” the man from Rosario said. “It wasn’t for it to finish in that way, because they weren’t the better team.”

Like his star player, Argentina mentor Lionel Scaloni likewise complained about the referee’s decisions.

“I didn’t like the referee — I don’t usually make those comments,” Scaloni said. “I don’t think he was qualified for a match of this level.”

Scaloni thought about that in Firmino’s goal, his group had heard a whistle in the start of Jesus’ move. The Argentina mentor was likewise discontent with the way that Argentina got six bookings to Brazil’s two.

“If a midfielder player is on a yellow card, this changes things,” he said. “There were a lot of small details where the match started to lose its balance because of those decisions.”

Messi, who quit the national side after the 2016 Copa America last misfortune just to return for the 2018 World Cup, proposed he was as yet dedicated to the Argentina cause. The nation will co-host the 2020 Copa America with Colombia, giving Messi another shot at a continental title.

“Something new is on the horizon,” he said, adding that he hoped the fans back home would recognise the side’s effort during the tournament.

“I hope we are respected and not criticised. They should let the team be and let them grow.

“The truth is, I have got on very well with this group of players, and if I have to help in some way, I will. This is a great group, which is growing, and if I can join them I will.”

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