Messi back home, sets sights on Copa America

May 31, 2011 - 9:59 AM
Spain Barcelona Soccer Champions League

FC Barcelona Lionel Messi, from Argentina, looks on after winning the Champions League soccer title at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona city, Sunday, May 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Job Vermeulen)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Lionel Messi is back home and looking to win the Copa America for Argentina.

Fresh off his Champions League final victory, Messi arrived in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. His Argentine team and Brazil are favored in the continental championship that begins July 1 with Argentina facing Bolivia. The final is July 24.

"I've had the luck to win everything with Barcelona, win everything as an individual, and my goal now is go win things for the Argentine national team," Messi said at the airport in Buenos Aires.

Messi was the man of the match in Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Manchester United on Saturday. He has, however, had limited success with his national team.

Argentina, then coached by Diego Maradona, was routed 4-0 by Germany last year in the World Cup quarterfinals. Messi was no factor, often isolated in midfield without the ball.

Maradona has since been replaced by Sergio Batista as coach. Argentina has won the World Cup twice — 1978 and 1986 — but it has not won a major international tournament since taking the Copa America in 1993 in Ecuador.