An international trophy has been the only thing missing from his illustrious collection, but the Barca striker wouldn’t change a thing in his career
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi he insists he wouldn’t swap any of the trophies he has won with Barcelona in order to lift the World Cup with Argentina.
Success with the Albiceleste at the international level has been the only gap on Messi’s illustrious CV.
Despite being his country’s all-time leading scorer he has yet to win a trophy with the senior side, with his only international honours the U20 World Cup in 2005 and a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
He has come desperately close to ending his international drought but has tasted defeat in three Copa America finals as well the 2014 World Cup final.
That has been in sharp contrast to his success at the domestic level, with the striker collecting a dazzling array of silverware at Camp Nou.
The 32-year-old has won a club-record 34 trophies with the Catalan side, including ten La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
When asked whether he would swap that haul for one World Cup trophy with Argentina, Messi insisted he wouldn’t change a thing.
“I would’ve loved to be a world champion,” Messi told TyC Sports. “But I don’t think I would change anything else in my career to be one.
“This has been what I was given, what God gave me. It has been what it has been.
“I couldn’t dream of everything that I experienced after. It was far bigger than anything I could’ve imagined.”
Messi’s failure to transfer his domestic success onto the international stage has seen him draw criticism in his homeland, with some suggesting he saves his best performances for his club.
Despite that uneasy relationship with the national side, he assumed the captaincy in 2011 following the appointment of Alejandro Sabella as manager.
He won the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best soccer professional at the 2014 World Cup, but couldn’t prevent Argentina losing the final in extra time against Germany.
The following two years he led the team out in a Copa America final against Chile but tasted defeat on both occasions, meaning he had suffered three final defeats in as many years.
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The latest defeat, in 2016, prompted Messi to announce his international retirement, though he reversed his decision in time for the World Cup qualifiers.
He became the first soccer professional to score at a World Cup in his teens, twenties, and his thirties when he netted a fine goal against Nigeria in Russia last summer, but the tournament ended in disappointment as the Albiceleste crashed out at the round of 16 stage.
He then endured a difficult Copa America earlier this year, where he was sent off in the third-place play-off against Chile before later being handed a three-match ban for criticising the referee for his display in their semi-final defeat to Brazil.