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Next for Messi: Copa America

  • Reuters, Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:49 PM

On Saturday, Lionel Messi scored his 53rd goal in 55 games for Barcelona this season, striking the second Barca goal in its 3-1 Champions League final win over Manchester United. But the 23-year-old, who has won three Champions League and five La Liga crowns with his club, has yet to win over many Argentines in the way he has Europeans.

"I had the luck to win everything with Barcelona, but my objective now is to win the Copa America with the national team,” said Messi, who will have a short holiday in his hometown of Rosario until June 8 when he links up with Coach Sergio Batista’s squad for the countdown to the Copa America being hosted by Argentina from July 1-24.

Batista will field a second-string team made up of fringe European-based Argentine players when Argentina faces Nigeria in a friendly on Wednesday in Abuja.

Messi helped Argentina win the 2005 U-20 World Cup and 2008 Olympic (a U-23 tournament) gold, but has not won a title with the full national team.

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