Lionel Messi led Argentina to win their first major international title after 28 years.
Lionel Messi scripted history as Argentine edged past Brazil 1-0 at the famous Maracana Stadium. The 34-year-old redeemed himself at Rio de Janeiro, a city where Christ The Redeemer stands tall as he guided Argentina to win their first international competition after 28 years. Interestingly, it was at the Maracana Stadium that Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup.
Argentina manager Luis Scaloni later revealed that Messi played with hamstring problem in the semi-final and final against Colombia and Brazil respectively.
Messi, who has often been criticised for not having won any silverware with Argentina, and saving his best for FC Barcelona where he has won several laurels.
In fact, the Argentina skipper hung up his boots after the disappointment in Copa America 2016 finals where he missed a penalty in the finals against Chile.
Since then, he has made a strong comeback and in Copa America 2021, his steely determination to get Argentina over the line was visible from the very first game against Chile where he scored a sublime free-kick.
Over the course of seven matches, Messi scored four goals and provided five assists. Of the 12 goals scored by Argentina in the competition, Messi directly had a hand in nine – which highlights how influential the dimunitive star had been for La Albiceleste.
Argentina’s triumph on the international stage saw the whose who of the world take to social media and congratulate Lionel Messi for his performance in the competition.
Leading the way was none other than Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, who hailed him as the ‘best ever’ in the history of the game.