Argentine attacker Ezequiel Lavezzi still believes teammate Lionel Messi will inspire Argentina to an international title despite losing to Chile in the Copa America 2015 final.
There were no goals in regulation time at the Estadio Nacional stadium on Saturday, though Gonzalo Higuain spurned a golden opportunity in second-half stoppage time after being played in by Lavezzi – who came on as a substitute when Angel Di Maria picked up an injury in the opening period.
Penalties were required after a further goalless 30 minutes of extra time, and Messi found the net with Argetina’s first spot-kick.
However, Higuain missed from 12 yards before Ever Banega saw his effort kept out by Claudio Bravo, leaving Alexis Sanchez to score the winning kick and ensure Argentina’s 22-year long trophy drought continues.
And although Lavezzi feels the team missed the chance to go down in the history books, he is sure that the Argetina captain will lead the team to glory some day.
“At some point Leo (Messi) is going to win something with Argentina,” he told reporters after the match on Saturday.
“We thought this was an opportunity to make our mark, but unfortunately we could not. It hurts a lot. Once again we are left with a bitter taste. It hurts because we believed that this was the chance to win something.”
“I think that we should continue on this path. We are all very good in terms of the group. We are just missing that little step to achieve something,” he added.
Javier Mascherano – who has now been a runner-up at three separate Copa America editions – was disconsolate in the face of defeat.
Following their World Cup final defeat in 2014, he described failure at the final hurdle once again as a ‘”torture”.
“I cannot find a way to describe it. Hopefully, in the future Argentina can win,” Mascherano told reporters.
“I wanted enjoyment with this shirt like anyone, but I have to suffer. I spoke with Carlitos (Tevez). Three finals of the Copa America and I lost all three. I cannot find an explanation.
I thank the fans for the support, like a year ago at the World Cup. We could not provide the joy that we wanted. It is a torture. It’s a great sadness, especially for us who were doing very good things,” he concluded.