Lionel Messi Gives ‘New’ Nickname at Copa America


Lionel Messi at the Copa America

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi seems to have taken on a new nickname at the Copa America which can be traced back to the legendary goal he scored for the Catalan giants against Getafe more than 14 years ago.

Messi’s ‘Ankara’ was used by commentators during the captain’s two-goal performance in the 4-1 win over Bolivia on Monday and was even picked up by Argentina’s Professional League.

The name comes from the legendary individual goal Messi scored for Barcelona against Getafe in April 2007 and the iconic comment from Joaquim Maria Puyal that accompanies the goal, indicated by 433.

The Barcelona captain was called ‘Ankara Messi’ again by commentators during Argentina’s win over Bolivia and the name was noticed by Argentine comedian Lucas Rodriguez who had a bit of fun with his story and then saw the nickname spread all over social media.

It remains to be seen what Messi thinks of the nickname or whether it will stay, but we might see Argentina continue in the Copa America. La Albiceleste’s win over Bolivia means the team will face Ecuador in the quarter-finals of the competition. The winner will face either Colombia or Uruguay for a place in the Copa America final.

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Bolivia goalkeeper praises Messi

Praise also appeared for Messi after the win over Bolivia from goalkeeper Carlos Lampe despite conceding four goals in the match, two of which came from the Argentina captain’s boots.

Lampe congratulated Messi after the full-time whistle and the two players shared a warm hug as they walked off the pitch, as shown by Fox Sports.

The goalkeeper spoke about his meeting with Messi after the game and how much he admired the Argentine superstar. He told Diario Ole, “I admire Messi for how he is as a person, humble, always considerate to greet everyone, and I believe that the basic thing is the person, we will all stop being footballers but the person remains. He’s the best.”

Messi’s goal against Bolivia means he is now in 75th for the national team and just two away from equaling Pele’s international goalscoring record. The Brazilian legend scored 77 goals for the Selecao during his career.

Barcelona Waiting for Messi

Meanwhile, Barcelona supporters are still waiting for Messi’s confirmation to stay at the Catalan club. The 34-year-old’s contract expires at midnight on June 30 and an extension has yet to be announced.

President Joan Laporta has urged supporters not to worry about the situation or Messi’s prospects of becoming a free agent. As reported by Mundo Deportivo, Laporta was met by reporters on Wednesday and when asked about Messi said, “calm down.”

The delay in announcing Messi’s new contract was due to “tax issues,” according to Catalunya Radio. The Argentine will sign a deal that will see him stay at Barcelona for two more seasons and then leave for Major League Soccer while also working as a club ambassador.

The third phase of the new contract will see Messi return to Barcelona after he hangs up his boots and takes on a non-playing role in “field football” for five years.

READ NEXT: PSG’s ‘new Messi’ ready to return to Barcelona: Report

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