Copa America: The legend of Messi enters new chapter as icon ends title drought with Argentina
Jul 11, 2021
Angel Di Maria might have scored a goal in the Copa America final but all eyes were on Lionel Messi as the legend ended the drought of the first major international title with Argentina.
He might not have scored in the finals of Copa America but Messi was in red hot form in the ongoing tournament having scored the joint highest four goals in Copa America 2021.
Argentina clinched the Copa America final for the first time since 1993, registering a 1-0 win over Brazil at the Maracana on Saturday (local time).
Messi was seven years old when Argentina last lifted the coveted Copa America trophy. Maria's strike in the tournament's final gave Messi or his fans the much-needed relief.
Whenever the debate erupted between Messi or any other big player, football pundits always highlighted how the Argentina captain wasn't able to reap rewards at the big stage.
Messi had won everything at the club level, both in personal and team capacity, but missed a major title with Argentina apart from a 2008 gold medal in the Olympics.
For now and at least sometime the there won't be people questioning Messi's legacy as he has finally won his first trophy with the senior national team.
The 'icon' Messi would only want Argentina to take the carry forward the momentum to the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Messi and Neymar were also named as the two best players of the tournament just before their teams locked horns in the final. If not for the goal, the Barcelona star had five assists in six games to his name before the summit clash kicked off.
The Copa America final started off with both sides pressing hard for the goal in the early stages of the match. However, neither Brazil nor Argentina was able to get their foot on the ball.
In the 22nd minute, Angel Di Maria latched on to a ball over the top and capitalised on an error from Renan Lodi before lobbing Ederson Santana de Moraes to find the back of the net.
Maria netted the goal to put Argentina ahead. He became the first Argentina player to score in a Copa America final since Cesar Delgado in 2004.
In the 32nd minute, Lionel Messi ran past the Brazil defence only to find out the edge of the box. Meanwhile, Neymar tried to chip the football but wasn't able to find the desired result.
Maria's goal separated Brazil and Argentina at half-time in the Copa America final. In the second half, Richarlison have Brazil some relief as he fired the ball into the net but the goal was turned down due to offside.
Brazil kept pressing hard to find a goal and even forced Argentina to turn on a defensive mode but still wasn't able to find the net.
In the dying minutes of play, Brazil earned a corner with Neymar swinging a cross into the box, however, Thiago Silva glanced the header over the goal post. In the end, Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 to lift the coveted trophy.