The 34 years old Lionel Messi ended his wait for the first international title when Argentina beat Brazil in the Copa America final in Rio’s Maracana stadium.
Lionel Messi, 34, have dropped to the ground in joy at the full-time whistle and was swiftly mobbed by his teammates before he was being hurled in the air in celebration. As he finally have claimed the top-level honors with his country in his 10th major tournament.
He also helped end Argentina’s 28 years spell since they last won the tournament. And he was named player of the match after scoring four goals in the game.
Messi had a chance to sign the win but slipped on goal thanks to his kindness, which would have been a good end for the Argentine captain.
Neymar knelt down and cried at the final whistle.
Contrary to sentiments, the controversial number of Messi 10 and Barcelona teammates Neymar knelt down and cried at the final whistle. His fight for international success continued, missing out on Brazil’s 2019 Copa win through injury.
The two players, who played together at the Nou Camp between 2013 and 2017 before Brazil’s move to Paris St-Germain. They hugged each other for a long time while waiting for the trophy.
The game was watched by a small crowd of 7,000 invited guests due to the Covid-19 restrictions. But it was the first time of the tournament to have spectators in attendance.
The sparse home supporters made their voices heard. Though, it grew louder particularly every time Messi touched the ball, booing and jeering for the striker.
The tournament has been delayed for a year due to the coronavirus epidemic. And originated with its first partners, Colombia and Argentina.
Furthermore, the game was postponed to 2019 in charge of Brazil’s last-minute decision. That has received criticism for the increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
Messi ended up shining on the international stage.
It was made clear from the ecstatic Argentina celebrations at the full-time wistle. With Messi, the focal point, that this squad’s drive to triumph against their old rival was as much for their legendary striker as it was the nation.
It has been 15 years since Messi first represented Argentina in a major tournament. After playing four World Cup games and six Copa America matches, winning 53 games. Finally, he ended up with the coveted international title he and his country aspired to.
Although he is one of today’s most decorated and talented players. And no doubt always with 10 La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, and six Ballons d’Or. Therefore, the questions about his lack of impact on the international stage have been more than a legacy for him.
And while many will say his greatness has been suspended, no matter what he gains with Argentina. This long-awaited trophy for the players and their country will go a long way in calming anyone who doubts.
Repeated failures with Argentina were painful for Messi.
Repeated failures with Argentina were painful for the striker, who even announced his retirement. Before reversing the decision after losing the second Copa America final in 2016. His third defeat in the tournament and came just two years after losing the 2014 World Cup final.
He did not blow himself up against Brazil, with few chances to get into the ball after Argentina showed a willingness to defend themselves. When they took the lead in a wild game that was disrupted by 41 errors. But he handled the ball well, especially in the final stages, to help end the pressure.
Questions about his future are yet to be asked, with Messi now free to work after his Barcelona contract expired two weeks ago. Although Barca has stepped up, efforts to hold on to its star negotiations continue.
There is still hope that Messi will take his chances, which could be his last chance to win the World Cup. Something Argentina has not done since 1986 if he can lead his country to Qatar at the age of 35 in December 2022.