Lionel Messi won his first Copa America title with Argentina.© AFP
Lionel Messi struggled to contain his emotions and “immense happiness” after the talismanic forward ended the 28-year-long wait for Argentina to win an international trophy at Maracana against Brazil. The Argentina captain had a brilliant Copa America 2021 as he scored four goals and gave five assists. Though Colombia’s Luis Diaz also scored four goals, Messi registered more assists and was named the Golden Boot winner.
In total, Messi had a hand in nine of the 12 goals Argentina scored during the tournament and was also named the Best Player of the Tournament along with Brazil’s Neymar who had scored two goals and registered three assists himself.
“It is crazy, the happiness the feeling is inexplicable. I knew that at some point it was going to happen,” Goal.com quoted Messi as saying. “The objective was clear and we were able to be champions. The happiness is immense. Many times I have dreamed of this.”
The Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria scored the lone goal in the 22nd-minute of the final that helped Messi get his hands on an elusive senior international trophy.
“I told Fideo (Di Maria) that today he was going to have his revenge and that is how it was. I want to share this with those teammates who were so close so many times and it was not given to them. This is also for them,” Messi said.
“I feel that God was saving this moment for me, against Brazil in the final and in his country. Great credit has to go to (coach) Lionel (Scaloni). He always wanted the best for the national team. He knew how to put together a winning team and he deserves your appreciation. I needed to get rid of the thorn of being able to achieve something with the national team, I had been very close for many years. I knew that at some point it was going to go wrong, it was going to happen and I think there is no better moment than this.”
With this Copa victory, Argentina secured their 15th continental title, drawing them level with Uruguay as the holders of the most wins. La Albiceleste are joint top with their la Plata neighbors Uruguay, while Brazil are in third with 9 wins.
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