Lionel Messi Makes History: Argentina's Triumph in Copa America Final

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Caption: Neymar reacts after Brazil lose to Argentina in the 2021 Copa America final Lionel Messi, the outstanding Argentine footballer, has finally clinched his first major international title as Argentina emerged victorious over Brazil in...

Neymar reacts after Brazil lose to Argentina in the 2021 Copa America final Caption: Neymar reacts after Brazil lose to Argentina in the 2021 Copa America final

Lionel Messi, the outstanding Argentine footballer, has finally clinched his first major international title as Argentina emerged victorious over Brazil in the highly anticipated Copa America final at Rio's Maracana stadium. This victory also marked a triumphant end to Argentina's 28-year-long wait since their last Copa America win. Messi's exceptional performance throughout the tournament, including his four goals, earned him the well-deserved title of the tournament's best player.

A Long-Awaited Victory

The match was a thrilling affair, with Argentina's Angel di Maria sealing their win with a spectacular lob after skillfully controlling Rodrigo de Paul's lofted pass. Although Messi had a chance to secure the win but unfortunately slipped with the goal in sight, it did not dampen the joyous atmosphere. Following the game, Messi expressed his overwhelming happiness and praised the unwavering spirit of his teammates, stating, "Many times I dreamed of this. I had a lot of confidence in this group that became very strong since the last Copa America. It is a group of very good people, who always push forward, who never complain about anything."

In contrast, defending champions Brazil failed to live up to expectations, with their only notable chances coming from Richarlison and Gabriel Barbosa, both saved by Argentina's impressive goalkeeper, Emi Martinez. Neymar, Messi's former Barcelona teammate and Brazil's number 10, was visibly devastated at the final whistle. His pursuit of international success continues, having missed Brazil's 2019 Copa America victory due to injury.

The Copa America final was an emotional moment for Messi and Neymar, who shared a heartfelt embrace while eagerly awaiting the trophy ceremony. Argentina's coach, Lionel Scaloni, praised Messi's exceptional performance, stating, "If you knew the way that he [Messi] played in the Copa America, you'd love him even more. You can never do without a player like him, even when he is not fully fit like in this game and the previous one."

The game was witnessed by a limited crowd of 7,000 invited guests due to Covid-19 restrictions. The support of the home crowd was evident, particularly when Messi was on the ball, although some sections of the crowd expressed their dissatisfaction through boos and jeers.

Messi's Journey to Triumph

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Messi's triumph in the Copa America final carries significant weight, considering his previous disappointments on the international stage. Despite being regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, with numerous club titles and individual accolades, questions regarding his impact in international tournaments have persisted throughout his career.

This victory comes after enduring several painful failures with the Argentine national team. Messi even announced his retirement (later reversed) following Argentina's loss in the 2016 Copa America final, adding to the disappointment of their defeat in the 2014 World Cup final. However, his determination and refusal to give up have finally paid off. Coach Scaloni emphasized Messi's resilience, stating, "In the end, he [Messi] did not throw in the towel, and he succeeded. We are talking about the best footballer of all time, and everyone knew how important it was for him to win a title with the national team."

Although Messi's performance against Brazil may not have been explosive, he displayed his exceptional ball-carrying skills, especially in the latter stages of the game, contributing to Argentina's victory. Now, with his Barcelona contract expired, questions about Messi's future remain unanswered, as negotiations between him and the club continue. Additionally, there is the prospect of Messi leading Argentina in the 2022 World Cup, representing his last opportunity to secure this coveted title for his country.

Lionel Messi's triumph in the Copa America final has cemented his status as a football legend. With his long-awaited victory on the international stage, Messi has silenced any remaining doubters and added another remarkable chapter to his extraordinary career.

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