Here we take a look at the 5 of the worst defeats of Lionel Messi’s career
Lionel Messi has had a long and glittering career in football. He has won a stunning amount of silverware, scored a lot of goals and on top of it, he has won five Ballon d’Or awards. The 30-year-old ace has rescued Barcelona and Argentina on innumerable occasions in the past.
However, Lionel Messi’s career was not without downfalls. For all his success with FC Barcelona, the Argentine has been criticized for his inability to help Argentina’s national team win a major title.
Barcelona’s dominance in European football came to halt after the departure of Pep Guardiola, and even the great Lionel Messi struggled to produce results for Barcelona.
On that note, let’s take a look at the 5 worst defeats of Lionel Messi’s career:
#5 UEFA Champions League defeat against Chelsea in 2011/12
Chelsea faced Barcelona in the semi-finals of the 2012 UEFA Champions League tie. In the first leg, Didier Drogba gave Chelsea a precious lead to take to the second leg at Nou Camp as his goal beat holders Barcelona 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Trailing 2-0 and down to ten men in the second leg at the Camp Nou, the Blues hit back with a remarkable rearguard action to level the game 2-2, with goals from Ramires and Fernando Torres.
Eventually, the English giants progressed to the final of the UEFA Champions League with a 3-2 aggregate victory. Messi failed to score a single goal in the two-legged tie, and on top of that, the Argentine missed a crucial penalty in the game when he smashed his shot against the crossbar.
#4 Defeat against Bolivia in a World Cup qualification game (2009)
The South American minnows thrashed La Albiceleste 6-1 in a World Cup qualification game as Argentina suffered their worst defeat in 60 years. Diego Maradona’s team struggled to cope with the high altitude and succumbed to a huge defeat.
The two-time world champions were completely outplayed by the Bolivia side as 21-year-old Lionel Messi failed to influence the game. Striker Joaquin Botero scored a hat-trick for the home team while Luis Gonzalez scored the solitary goal for the visitors.
The impact of the result in the overall context was minimal as Argentina qualified for the 2010 World Cup with ease. But, the defeat still remains one of the worst of Lionel Messi’s footballing career.
#3 2016 Copa America finals defeat against Chile
One of the worst nights of Lionel Messi’s career. Chile beat Argentina on penalties to win the 2016 Copa America Centenario Final. The game ended scoreless after 120 minutes and Chile won the game on penalties, 4-2.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the first half after Argentina’s Marcos Rojo and Chile’s Marcelo Diaz were sent-off. The day went from bad to worse for Messi, as he missed an all-important penalty in the shootout.
This was Messi’s third defeat in a major final and the Argentine announced his retirement from international football after the defeat, and said, “I’ve done all I can. It hurts not to be a champion.” Eventually, Messi returned to international football six months later.
#2 2012/13 UEFA Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich
In the first-leg of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League semi-finals tie, Bayern Munich demolished the Catalan giants 4-0 at the Allianz Arena. This was Barcelona’s worst defeat in Europe since 1997.
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova gambled on an unfit Lionel Messi and he looked completely off-colour throughout the 90 minutes. Barcelona was completely outplayed on the night. Things went from bad to worse for Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Notably, Lionel Messi was an unused substitute in the second leg as Bayern Munich ran riot at the Camp Nou to defeat Barcelona 3-0 on the night and 7-0 on the aggregate. This was one of Barcelona’s worst defeat in a two-legged Europen tie.
#1 2014 World Cup finals defeat against Germany
Arguably the worst ever defeat of Lionel Messi’s career. The finals of the 2014 World Cup took place on 13 July 2014 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Two-time winners Argentina played the three-time champions Germany in the finals.
The game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes and went into extra time. The game seemed to be heading towards a penalty shootout, but Mario Gotze scored a brilliant extra-time goal to shock Argentina, handing them a 1-0 defeat. La Albiceleste did not manage a single shot on target throughout the 120 minutes as Messi failed to influence his side on the big night.
He also wasted a couple of good opportunities but Germany played some excellent football and deservedly won the title. Messi was the star of the show for Argentina throughout the World Cup but tragically failed at the final hurdle.