Coronavirus: Messi admits 'huge disappointment' over Copa America
Lionel Messi said he had been "extremely excited" to compete in the 2020 Copa America and the decision to postpone the competition until 2021 hit him hard.
The Argentina captain was set to take part in the Copa America for the sixth time in June and July before CONMEBOL announced its postponement in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Messi has been a runner-up in the competition on three occasions, in 2007, 2015 and 2016, and he will be nearly 34 by the time the 2021 edition kicks off.
"Pushing back the Copa America was a huge disappointment, but of course it was to be expected and was the reasonable thing to do," Messi told adidas.
"The Copa was going to be a big occasion for me this year, and I was extremely excited to compete in it again. It hit me hard when I learned it would be postponed, but I completely understood.
"We can't dwell on what we're leaving behind this year. It's better to look to the future. To getting back to the daily training routine, to seeing team-mates, to playing the first games.
"I'm sure it will be strange at first, but I'm very eager to start competing again!"
While Messi will have to wait for the return of international football, he is training with Barcelona in anticipation of LaLiga resuming in the coming weeks.
The Blaugrana's talismanic forward admitted the uncertainty of the global pandemic had affected him mentally.
"I don't think anyone could have seen something like this coming," he said.
"Some people warned that worldwide pandemics could happen from time to time. But I really never could have imagined it would unfold like it did, or the enormous impact it's having on virtually the entire world.
"Living or working with so much uncertainty is never easy, especially when faced with a situation as unheard-of as this one. That's why we'll need some time to prepare before competing again."