FOOTBALL

Pizzi: 2016 Copa América win with Chile "a wonderful moment"

Juan Antonio Pizzi looked back at his Copa América win with Chile, discussed Leo Messi's finals hoodoo with Argentina, and offered his thoughts on the title race in LaLiga.

Pizzi: 2016 Copa América win with Chile "a wonderful moment"
OMAR TORRES / AFP

The respected football coach Juan Antonio Pizzi steered Chile to glory at the 2016 Copa América, beating Argentina in the final, before taking charge of Saudi Arabia and leading the side to the 2018 World Cup finals.

In your opinion, why has Lionel Messi been unable to win the Copa América with Argentina?

Well, it’s never easy. We’re talking about the best player in the world, but you mustn’t forget that football is a team game, and there are a lot of other tough competitors out on the field, which means it isn’t easy to win.

What’s more, Messi has reached three finals with Argentina without winning any of them - at the World Cup in 2014 and the Copa América in 2015 and 2016 - and that can become a psychological burden for everyone in the team.

Tell us about your memories of the 2016 Copa América final...

It was a wonderful moment, of course. It was a shame that it had to be my home country that we beat, but I think it’s one of my greatest achievements as a coach. We worked really hard to win the tournament, and after the final ended goalless we managed to come away with a 4-2 win on penalties.

Do you think Real Madrid will win LaLiga, or could Barcelona come back into it?

I think Real Madrid have been better than all their rivals and are in a great position to win LaLiga. There are still a few games to go and it’s not over yet, but it’s looking like Barcelona will find it tough to reclaim top spot.