Lionel Messi has confessed he is in dreamland after finally breaking his international curse and winning Copa America 2021 with Argentina.
The 34-year-old’s shortcomings on the international stage have long tarnished his career, with many critics claiming he could not be seen as his country’s greatest player without leading Argentina to glory.
It has been a long road but Messi is finally there, celebrating Copa America glory after his Argentina side took down Brazil with a fantastic lob from Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria, and Messi admitted he was struggling to comprehend what had happened.
“It’s crazy, the happiness the feeling is inexplicable. I knew that at some point it was going to happen,” he said (via Goal). “The objective was clear and we were able to be champions. The happiness is immense. Many times I have dreamed of this.
“I told Fideo (Di Maria) that today he was going to have his revenge and that’s how it was. I want to share this with those team-mates who were so close so many times and it was not given to them. This is also for them.
“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 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 away, it was going to happen and I think there is no better moment than this.”
Messi fell to his knees after the full-time whistle and was immediately mobbed by his teammates, all of whom clearly recognised just how important this victory was to the 34-year-old.
On top of ending a narrative, this Copa America glory also strengthens Messi’s case to win his seventh Ballon d’Or later in the year.