The world of football would have been incomplete if one of the greatest footballers of all time did not have an international trophy to his name. It’s certainly been a long, long wait for Lionel Messi and his fans, but the day has finally come.
Argentina defeated Brazil in the final of the Copa America 2021 to end their wait of 28 years for a continental win. The Argentine last lifted aloft the trophy in 1993 and since then have been waiting to lay their hands on the coveted title.
Angel Di Maria scored the solitary goal of the match as he once again stepped up. Rodrigo De Paul delivered an exemplary through ball in behind the Brazilian defence to set Di Maria through on goal.
Keeping his cool, Angel Di Maria simply chipped the ball over the onrushing Ederson Moraes. Lionel Messi had a chance late in the match. Once again it was De Paul with the pass as he found Messi one on one with the goalkeeper.
However, Messi could not sort out his feet and his shot was saved. But in the end it didn’t matter, as the dream for Lionel Messi had finally been achieved. A tough challenge for Neymar however who will have to wait.
Brazil did win the 2019 Copa America but Neymar didn’t feature in that due to injury. Neymar Jr was in superb touch across the tournament registering 5G/A and guided Brazil to yet another final.
Lionel Scaloni opens up about Messi’s injury
As soon as the referee blew the final whistle, every single Argentinian player rushed towards Lionel Messi. It is clear to everybody that this squad fought not only for their country but for one of the greatest players to have donned the jersey.
Moreover, as revealed by Argentinian coach Lionel Scaloni, Messi played the knockout stages with a hamstring injury. This just goes to show just how determined he was to win the title this time around.
Lionel Messi suffered an ankle injury during semifinals against Colombia but managed to carry on and even scored the penalty in the shootout. However, not many would’ve known that he was playing these matches with an existing injury.
“If you knew the way that he 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.”
“In the end he 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.”
“I have a relationship that is different than the (usual) coach-player relationship,” Scaloni added. “It’s closer. We greet each other, we hug each other, and I am eternally grateful to him and his teammates.”