Lionel Messi 'bitter' after Argentina loses Copa America opener

Lionel Messi lamented Argentina's losing start to its Copa America campaign following Saturday's defeat against Colombia.

Disappointing defeat: Lionel Messi shakes hands with Colombia's Duvan Zapata after the contest on Saturday. Photo: AP

Lionel Messi said he was "feeling bitter" after Colombia heaped agony on Copa America hopeful Argentina in Salvador.

Argentina — back-to-back runner-up in 2015 and 2016 — was upstaged 2-0 by Colombia in its Copa opener on Saturday. After a drab first half, Argentina was stunned as Colombia substitutes Roger Martinez and Duvan Zapata condemned La Albiceleste to their first opening-game Copa defeat since 1979.

REPORT | Argentina 0-2 Colombia

And Argentina captain Messi — who was largely subdued by Carlos Queiroz's men as he eyes his first senior title with the South American giant — lamented the result.

"We leave here feeling bitter," Messi told reporters afterwards. "In the second half we had our chances. It takes time to accept this defeat, but let's see what the next days will be like. We need to look at the horizon and move on. We didn't want to start this way, obviously, but now we have to lift our heads and keep going."


"In the first half we retreated a little and were holding on, but in the second we really opened up," said Messi, who almost broke the deadlock in the second half but directed a header just wide of the post.

"Whenever you lose it's hard for us, we usually take it badly. Now we have to think about Paraguay."

Messi continued: "We have to take the positive things of today and think about tomorrow. We have many chances."

Argentina — seeking its first major international title since 1993 — is back in action against Paraguay on Wednesday in Group B.