Argentina captain Lionel Messi took aim at the state of the pitches at the 2019 Copa America after his team got through to a semi-final game with Brazil.
Goals from Lautaro Martinez and Giovani Lo Celso were enough for the Albiceleste to soar past Venezuela in a 2-0 win on Friday in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.
Messi, however, once again failed to reproduce his best form, with a penalty against Paraguay his only goal in four games so far in the Copa America.
“I am not having my best Copa America,” he told reporters at the final whistle in Rio.
“In truth, the pitches are shameful. It is hard to control the ball and carry it. The ball looked like a rabbit, it goes all over the place with this pitch. All we can do is adapt.
“The pitches are awful. That doesn’t help keep possession, you need a second longer, it bounces poorly, you cannot lead.
“But we played a complete game and we were able to win.”
Martinez, who is Argentina’s top scorer with two goals to date in the Copa, said that the Albiceleste will start as underdogs against Brazil.
“We have our own players,” he pointed out.
“We know it will be difficult because they are the home side and they will be in front of their fans.
“We are showing that we give our all in every game. Luckily things are going well.”
Argentina will play Brazil in Belo Horizonte’s Estadio Mineirao on Tuesday, their first meeting in a major finals since the Copa America final in 2007.