FC Barcelona fans watched in agony as Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero continued to whet their appetite for what could take place at the Camp Nou this coming season. In a preview of what they can do if they remain together at Barcelona, the Argentina teammates helped extend the squad's unbeaten run at the Copa America in Brazil after manufacturing a 4-1 victory against Bolivia.
Messi broke another record and became Argentina's most-capped player after making his 148th appearance for the national team on Monday. He then led the way to victory by scoring a brace followed by two more goals by Papu Gomez and Lautaro Martinez.
In the 31st minute, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner opened the scoreboard from the spot after Papu Gomez was brought down by Bejarano in the box. Messi stepped up to the spot and buried the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.
His second goal came off a clinical lob pass from Aguero, which Messi calmly scooped up past the head of Bolivian keeper Lampe. The pair clearly showed how well they can coordinate with each other, giving a glimpse of the partnership that Barcelona may enjoy next season. The club recently acquired the services of Aguero, in the hope that Messi will be convinced to stay and play in tandem with his close friend.
However, only one day remains before the club captain's current contract expires on June 30. A confirmation of his extension was expected long ago, but now it seems as though the decision has been pushed back to the very last minute.
Barcelona fans are literally growing more anxious by the minute, as the clock ticks towards the contract expiration date. Meanwhile, Messi appears to be unbothered as he continues to play at his best for Argentina at the Copa America.
Bolivia's consolation goal was scored by Erwin Saavedra, but they were completely overpowered by an Argentine side that seems determined to win its first major trophy in a very long time, and the first in the Messi era. The Albiceleste finished the group stage on top of Group A, claiming 10 points from four matches.
Uruguay is in second place after their victory against Paraguay, who in turn claim third place. Chile also made it through after coming away with five points, but Bolivia has been eliminated after failing to secure a single point from the group.
Argentina will face Ecuador in the quarter-finals on Saturday, July 3.