Argentina won the title of Copa America by defeating arch-rival and the host Brazil by 1-0 in the final on Saturday night.
Defeating Brazil, Argentina won its first international title in 28 years, surpassing the curse of four finals. Angel Di Maria scored the decisive goal to give Argentina the title at the Maracana Stadium, Rio De Janerio. Di Maria scored an excellent goal on a pass from Rodrigo de Paul in the 22nd minute of the match. Although Brazil had more position on the ball, it could not take advantage of the opportunity. As a result, its repetitive attacks were blocked by Argentina’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and it was defeated by the opponent.
Argentina had beaten Colombia by 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the semifinals, whereas Brazil beat Peru by 1-0 to reach the finals.
The victory of Argentina has swept social media with overwhelming wishes and gestures from fans across the globe. This victory is celebrated by football fanatics worldwide, specifically Lionel Messi’s fans, because it is his first major international title in Argentina’s jersey. Messi himself has expressed his happiness by taking it to his official social media handles such as Instagram. He posted a short montage of the game on Instagram, which has been viewed about 17 million times in the last 13 hours.
The video has been captioned with very intimate words where Messi has expressed how proud he is of his team and an Argentine. Dedicating the title to his family, friends, and country people, he writes, “I want to dedicate this success to my family who always gave me the strength to keep going, to my friends that I love so much, to all the people who bank us and especially to the 45 million Argentines who had such a bad time with this shit of viruses, especially those that touched them more closely. It goes for all of you. And of course also for Diego, who surely banked us from wherever he is.” Angel Di Maria, who was the only scorer of the match, said that Messi thanked him for tremendous help to lift the title.
As a responsible team captain, he also stated that many improvements are to be made and that there is a long way to go.
Winning the Copa in 1993, Argentina reached five finals of the main competition in which Messi played in four finals. But in all of those finals, Argentina failed to win the title.
Messi, 34, had announced his retirement after losing the 2016 Copa America final. However, he took back his retirement decision and returned to the national team later, and now, this victory has added a significant milestone in his entire football career.
He has repeatedly proven himself to be one of the best players in the history of not just European football clubs but globally. By winning the Ballon D’or best football player of the year six times, Messi has become the player to have won the title for the highest number of times. However, the irony was, he hadn’t made it to win any significant title for the country until Sunday. It was absolutely the biggest night for Leo Messi who has been mocking of not having an international title and had suffered last four finals without a trophy. Significant soccer analysts and major media outlets have reported that the debate of Great of All Time has ended now, Messi cemented him there after getting his hands on Copa America.”
After this game, he has become the first Argentine to play in six editions of the Copa America, which he did in the tournaments from 2007 to 2021. Earlier, former Barcelona captain Maserano held the record to have played five Copa matches. Also, Messi has scored four goals in six games of this year’s Copa America. He has scored 13 goals in the last six editions which makes him four goals short of 17 goals scored by Gijinho (Brazil) and Norberto Mendez (Argentina), which is the highest goal of any player in the history the competition. Messi also bagged the tournament’s best player and best scorer awards with four goals and five assists. Neymar congratulated his long-time friend Messi with a big hug which was viral on social media. Messi and Neymar had the best four years in Barcelona before the Brazilian star left for PSG in 2017.
“When I lost, I went to hug the greatest and best of the history that I have ever seen play. My friend and brother, Messi,” read Neymar’s statement. This is Argentina’s 15th Copa title. It had won the title in 1993 last time. Copa America is considered the most significant football competition in the South American continent.