Lionel Messi’s popularity is difficult to overestimate. In the world ranking of athletes, the Argentine has always been the leader in this indicator, competing only with Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James. The footballer remains afloat even after leaving Europe and moving to the United States Championship, where he quickly became the main star and popularizer of the league.
True, until recently in this “non-football” country it seems that the name of the famous player has not yet bounced even in the teeth of experts. How else to explain the ridiculous mistake that local journalists made during the 2016 Copa América?
The amateurs immediately embarrassed the aspiring stuntmen.
MESSI APPEARS TO AMERICA
Seven years ago, the Copa América was held for the first time in history outside the Latin world: in the United States. The reason for the postponement of the continental tournament was its centenary: to celebrate the anniversary, CONMEBOL decided to organize an “out of turn” championship, at the same time inviting a new participant in the person of the American team, which became the host. . of the competition.
The United States began the tournament without success, losing in the first group stage match against Colombia 0-2. However, just a week later, the Stars and Stripes team unexpectedly received the title of perhaps Kopa’s biggest discovery. In the remaining matches, the Americans defeated Costa Rica and Paraguay, scoring five goals and conceding none. Thanks to this, the team managed to take first place in the quartet, ahead of the Colombians in goal difference: +3 versus +2.
The triumphant march of the hosts of the Cup continued in the playoffs: in the quarterfinals, the Americans beat Ecuador (1-0). The most difficult challenge awaited the team at the next stage: the rival of the United States was Argentina, which at that time was considered the clear favorite of the tournament, headed by the magnificent Lionel Messi.
“THEY SHAME ME AS AN AMERICAN”
Apparently, in the United States they were not prepared to meet the genius. On the eve of the match, the local media published the traditional previews of the semifinals, talking about the difficulties that could await the American team in the match against Argentina. Of course, Messi personally took first place on this list. True, not Lionel, but… Leonardo.
This is what journalists from the important USA Today portal called the athlete in their publication. The ridiculous mistake on behalf of one of the most talented footballers in history immediately outraged subscribers, regardless of his nationality. The authors received a lot of criticism, witticisms and even insults:
– Whoever manages your social networks should never work in sports.
– I am ashamed as an American.
– Do you consider yourself journalists? At least check out Wikipedia!
-Are you talking about DiCaprio?
– His name is Alejandro, not Leonardo.
Under public pressure, USA Today was forced to issue a public apology for the error. Furthermore, their guilt was so obvious that they had to apologize to readers twice. In the comments, however, they continued to laugh at the journalists, surprised by their ignorance or their banal lack of respect for the legend.
Ironically, it was Leo who ultimately became the protagonist of the semifinal showdown in Houston. Already in the third minute, the Argentine made a brilliant pass to Lavezzi, who opened the scoring in the match, and half an hour later he hit the goal with his characteristic free kick, elegantly turning the ball into the far corner. The game as a whole was dictated by Argentina and ended in a 4:0 defeat, and “Leonardo” participated in three of the team’s four goals, etching his name in the memories of American fans for a long time.