Argentina Golden Generation MessiGetty/GOAL

Last Dance: Is this Copa America the final run for Lionel Messi era at Argentina?

You may have seen it. A video went viral a couple weeks back showing Argentina emerging from the locker room ahead of their opening round Copa America clash with Canada. A team full of superstars, Argentina's starters were seen stationed in the hallway, each doing their own thing, until, suddenly, Lionel Messi appeared. Immediately, every man fell in line. They marched together like wolves, with Messi clearly the alpha of this pack on the way to battle.

It almost looked scripted, something out of a movie, and Messi was the clear main character. Social media commenters compared him to Tommy Shelby and other gang leaders, one that commands respect the moment he enters a room. Others chimed in on his aura. Whatever your thoughts, the video made one thing abundantly clear: this Argentinian team, as good as they are as individuals, is collectively ready to follow this man wherever he leads.

That's the power of Messi and, in recent years, that power has become less a weight and more a rallying cry. For so many years, Argentina seemed afraid of falling short, but this team's mentality is different. Argentina is no longer concerned about letting Messi down. Instead, they're singularly determined to lift the man up.

It's been the defining factor of these last few years, a historic run for this team. World Cup and Copa America winners, Argentina are on the path to another Copa America final. As they prepare for face Canada in Tuesday night's semifinal at MetLife Stadium, it's time to reflect on an Argentina run that, for the first time in recent memory, has NOT been defined by Messi.

The charismatic aura is still there, as is supreme leadership, but the goals haven't been. He's played a major role, but not neccesarily a starring role. Instead, Messi's Argentina teammates have done the heavy lifting that was solely on him to shoulder for so long. And because of that, this feels like a summer in which this team is between eras or, perhaps, transitioning to a new one.

The Messi Era is nearing an end and a new post-Messi run will soon begin. For now, though, it feels as if this Argentina team is more than equipped to lift their talisman at least one more time.

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