Argentina won the Copa America after beating Brazil 1-0 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. This victory ended 28-year trophy drought and Messi finally won first major international title in Copa America.
Argentina’s winning goal came in the 22nd minute after Rodrigo de Paul made a long pass to Ángel Di Maria. Taking advantage of sloppy defending from left-back Renan Lodi, the 33-year-old veteran striker lobbed it past goalkeeper Ederson.
The Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni altered five players from the starting lineup that beat Colombia on penalties in the semifinal.
Gonzalo Montiel, Cristian Romero, Marcos Acuña, Leandro Paredes and D María took the places of Nahuel Molina, Nicolás Tagliafico, Guido Rodríguez and Nicolás González.
Brazil, a team known for its consistency, made no changes from the team that reached the final.
It was a cautious start to the match with hardly any chances created.
Despite Neymar’s dribbles and passes, the Seleçao barely threatened Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez in the first half. Argentina sat in the back, hoping for counter-attacks.
The performance of Messi in the final was not as impressive as his previous performances in the tournament, in which he scored four goals and made five assists. However, the title provides the superstar some relief ,Messi was named player of the tournament after scoring four goals and laying on five assists in what was his 10th tournament appearance for his country.
In his interview with reporters after the game, Messi struggled to describe the magnitude of his achievement.
“It’s crazy, the happiness the feeling is inexplicable. I knew that at some point it was going to happen,”
“The objective was clear and we were able to be champions. The happiness is immense. Many times I have dreamed of this.
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