Lionel Messi believes Argentina deserves to win a major title as the side prepares to contest the Copa America Centenario in the United States next month.
Argentina lost last year’s final to Chile on penalties, just 12 months after suffering heartbreak against Germany in the 2014 World Cup decider in Brazil.
The South American nation has made three out of the last four Copa America finals but finished as the runner-up on each occasion, and has not won the tournament since 1993.
Messi believes it is time for Argentina to finally taste success after 23 years without a major trophy.
“We will try our best to win the Copa, because for us it is very important,” the Barcelona star told Sports Illustrated. “More so, it has been a very long time since Argentina has won anything, and this group came very close in the World Cup and at the last Copa America.
“I think we deserve to be champions of an important competition.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner added: “It is a special Copa America, because it is going to be played in the United States — a unique country. It is the best possible location for the tournament, with amazing stadiums and with a lot of people set to go to the games. It is an opportunity we must make the most of.”
Argentina kicks off its tournament with a rematch of last year’s final against Chile on June 6, before facing fellow Group D opponent Panama on June 10 and Bolivia four days later.