Lionel Messi dedicates his Copa America triumph to “45 million Argentines” and Diego Maradona. The iconic six-time Ballon d’Or winner continues to revel in a first senior international success with his country. The 34-year-old, who remains a free agent as those at Camp Nou seek to put a new contract in place, hopes to have made his fellow countrymen proud.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID?

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has dedicated his Copa America success to his family, friends, and the people who believe in him. Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final of the tournament in Rio de Janeiro to win the trophy for the first time since. The Barcelona forward says he is proud to have been captain of a “spectacular group”

“LET’S NOT FORGET THAT THERE IS STILL A LONG WAY TO GO TO RETURN TO NORMALITY AND I HOPE WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS HAPPINESS TO GAIN A LITTLE STRENGTH TO FIGHT THE VIRUS TOGETHER,”

Says former Manchester United midfielder Joachim Low.

“THIS IS FOR ALL, AND OF COURSE ALSO FOR DIEGO, WHO SURELY WAS SUPPORTING US FROM WHEREVER HE IS,”

She adds.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Lionel Messi has been compared to Argentina legend Diego Maradona, who inspired his country to World Cup glory in 1986. The Barcelona forward has become one of the world’s greatest players and many believe he has become the greatest of all time. However, Barca is in the process of trimming a wage bill that is preventing them from registering new signings and tying their talismanic captain to fresh terms.

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