Lionel Messi has won his first major title with his country after debuting 16 years ago by defeating host and defending champion, Brazil, at the Maracana Stadium.
The game was watched by a small crowd of 7,000 invited guests, because of Covid-19 restrictions, and was the first of the tournament to have spectators in attendance.
The South American Football Confederation known as CONMEBOL had earlier announced Messi and Neymar as the best player of tournament which is happening for the first time.
The match started with a slow rhythm from both sides, until Rodrigo De Paul’s lovely long ball was lobbed over Ederson by Di Màríà in the 21st minute and that goal that secured the win for the Albiceleste.
Brazil didn’t offer anything going forward until the second half when Richarlison had the ball in the back of net, only for it to be ruled offside, Emiliano Martinez then pulled a fine save from Gabriel Barbosa. Messi had a chance to sign off the win in the closing minutes but slipped with the goal at his mercy.
Final whistle was blown and Messi couldn’t hold back his tears. He has finally done it for his nation. Messi ended the wait to claim major honours with his country in his 10th major tournament, and also ending Argentina 28-year wait for an international trophy.
This win means Argentina has equalled Uruguay’s record as the most successful nation in the tournament’s history (15 titles). Meanwhile, Neymar will continue to pursue success at International level having missed the 2019 Copa America win by Brazil through injury.
Lionel Messi has just secured his GOAT status by capping one of the greatest individual performances in the competition’s history with the trophy he has long deserved.