Lionel Messi record at Copa America: Titles, games, goals and finals with Argentina at CONMEBOL tournament

Holders Argentina will once again be looking to the inspirational leadership of Lionel Messi as they head into the 2024 Copa America.

Messi’s international career has enjoyed an incredible turnaround since 2021, after leading Lionel Scaloni’s side to a first Copa America title since 1993, before going one better and winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Inter Miami forward will continue to be the focal point for Argentina, despite turning 37 during the tournament, as he looks secure another title for his country.

Speculation remains open as to whether Messi will achieve his goal of playing at the 2026 FIFA World Cup, but 2024 is certain to be his final Copa America, and he will be looking for a fairytale end in the United States.

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Lionel Messi Copa America titles

The 2021 win was Messi’s sixth Copa America tournament and the first time he managed to end up on the winning team in the final – in fact in any international competition.

Defeats in three previous finals had placed an asterisk next Messi’s exploits with Argentina as three runners up medals were finally replaced with a winners’ one in Rio de Janiero.

Lionel Messi Copa America record with Argentina
Year Host Nation Stage Reached Eliminated by
2007 Venezuela Runners Up Brazil
2011 Argentina Quarterfinal Uruguay
2015 Chile Runners Up Chile
2016 USA Runners Up Chile
2019 Brazil Semifinal Brazil
2021 Brazil Champions
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Lionel Messi Copa America games and goals

Messi’s long-running career with Argentina has seen him set new records for international caps (180) and goals (106) as the leader in both categories for his national side.

Ahead of the 2024 tournament, Messi is tied on 34 with Chile’s Sergio Livingstone, in the race for the most Copa America appearances.

He is set to overtake Livingstone in the USA, but the goal record remains more difficult, with 13 scored and the competition outright record standing at 17.

Lionel Messi Copa America stats for Argentina
Year Host Nation Games Played Goals Scored Stage Reached Eliminated by
2007 Venezuela 6 2 Runners Up Brazil
2011 Argentina 5 0 Quarterfinal Uruguay
2015 Chile 6 1 Runners Up Chile
2016 USA 6 5 Runners Up Chile
2019 Brazil 5 1 Semifinal Brazil
2021 Brazil 6 4 Champions

Lionel Messi Copa America final heartbreaks, Brazil and Chile double

Messi’s Copa America debut in 2007 saw him start for Argentina in their 3-0 final loss to Brazil. 

The Samba Boys had beaten Argentina on penalties in the 2004 final and they were ruthless in their rematch as Messi tasted frustration in Venezuela.

However, the scenes of a disconsolate Messi losing a Copa America final are instantly linked to Argentina’s battles with Chile in 2015 and 2016.

In the 2015 final in Santiago, Argentina failed to spark into life, and Jorge Sampaoli’s resilient hosts dragged the game to a penalty shootout.

Messi netted Argentina’s first spot kick, but misses from Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega gave Chile the advantage, before Alexis Sanchez’s effort ultimately won it for Sampaoli. The 2016 tournament was viewed as a quickfire chance for revenge, as Argentina faced Chile again, in the 100th anniversary of the Copa America in New Jersey.

However, Argentina fell into Sampaoli’s trap once again, as Chile held on for penalties. Messi missed his spot kick this time, as Chile held their nerve, and Argentina’s talisman opted to initially retire from international football after the game.

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He, of course, returned in glorious fashion and isn’t done with the international scene yet.

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