Messi offered a route out of Argentinian nightmare

Brazilian newspaper Meia Hora has come up with a novel solution for the two struggling superpowers at the 2011 Copa America.

Argentina fans are at their wits end with Lionel Messi’s international form while their Brazilian counterparts where chanting for the introduction of Marta during their draw with Paraguay.

Whilst the leading goalscorer at the ongoing Women’s World Cup is undoubtedly a welcome addition to any changing room, Meia Hora have set their sights elsewhere.

The Brazilian publication has kicked off an online petition to convince Messi to pack it in with Argentina and come join the five-time World Cup winners.

Shocked by the host nation’s stinging abuse of the Barcelona star, Brazilian journalist Renato Maurício Prado mooted the idea of taking Messi off Argentina’s hands during a broadcast on Seleção Sportv.

“If the Argentinians don’t want Messi, they can send him over to us.”

A few years ago a similar campaign was set-up to get ex-Yugoslavia international Dejan Petkovic into the Brazilian team before Fifa rules put pay to the idea.

It’s far more common for Brazilian born players to wear the colours of another country rather than having foreigners adopted into the yellow shirt. One example is Brazilian born Edivaldo Rojas who gave Bolivia the lead against Argentina in the Copa America curtain raiser.

Tonight Argentina face a Costa Rican team made up of mostly youth players following the country’s last minute call to take Japan’s place at the tournament.

Even with the obvious gulf in class between the two sides there’s nothing guaranteed about the host’s passage to the quarter-finals.

Argentina’s head coach Sergio Batista will attempt to solve his team’s problems in front of goal by handing starts to Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín to play alongside Messi. A hat-trick for Higuaín can be got at 20.00 at

Batista is sure have his ears ringing in the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes unless his side can find an early goal to settle the nerves of the crowd. Dropping Carlos Tevez from the starting XI is a bold move by the gaffer but it remains to be seen if it’s too little too late.

If Argentina seize up again Costa Rica have a lively weapon in teenager Joel Campbell ready to pounce on a fragile looking backline. The match ending in a draw is priced at 6.00 with

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For more on Copa America 2011, listen to The South American Football Show.