Belo Horizonte (AP) - For a moment Lionel Messi was alone. With blank eyes and lowered head, the five-time world footballer stood on the lawn of the Estadio Mineirão - and deep in the 32-year-old, the anger seemed to rise.
"Brazil controls everything," argued the Argentine superstar after the 0-2 (0: 1) in the semi-final of the Copa America against arch-rivals Brazil: "We gave everything we had. But there were things that went against us. »
Referee Roddy Zambrano from Ecuador has repeatedly denied his team a penalty, for the Brazilians, however, had «every minimum contact» led to a free kick. The fact that the referee did not use the video evidence in questionable scenes had been a great "nonsense". "There is no excuse for that", said Messi, whose dream of the first title with the senior national team had suddenly burst again.
Although demanded by the defensive very spiteful offensive star of the Spanish champions FC Barcelona, the leaders of the South American Confederation CONMEBOL to take action against the mistakes of the referees. "But I do not think they'll do anything," Messi said. Too big is the influence of the Brazilian Federation.
The hosts were in the 19th minute by Gabriel Jesus in the lead. The template came from Champions League winner Roberto Firmino, who scored the 2: 0 (71.) just under 20 minutes before the final whistle. Even after the decisive goal, the Argentinians had protested violently, because before a supposed foul on Messi, who met in the second half only the post, had not been punished. In the stands, the fans clashed, the police had to intervene.
"I usually do not comment on that," said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, who meets Chile in his third-place play-off against Chile or Peru on 6 July. "However, I do not think he's in for a match at this level was qualified. »
Messi, however, had shown his best tournament performance in Belo Horizonte. "I hope we are respected, not criticized," said the 32-year-old, who also gave his fans hope that he will also play next year in the then jointly organized by Argentina and Colombia South American Championship. "Here something is growing together," said Messi, for the Olympic victory with the U23 in 2008 remains the only title in the national jersey for the time being.
The Brazilians, who appear to have recovered well from the unrest surrounding injured superstar Neymar, will play for their ninth South American title on July 7th in the final (local time 10:00 pm, 3:00 pm CEST). "I am very happy," said Dani Alves after the win against Argentina: "We worked a lot for this win."
Website of the South American Championship
Argentine Football Association
Brazilian Football Federation
Profile of Lionel Messi