Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final on Saturday, winning the tournament for the first time in 28 years and giving Lionel Messi his first major international prize. Rodrigo de Paul’s long ball to Angel di Maria resulted in Argentina’s winning goal at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in the 22nd minute. To gain control and lob it past goalkeeper Ederson, the 33-year-old veteran attacker relied on some poor defence from left-back Renan Lodi. Brazil has only conceded three goals in the competition. With dribbles and passes, Neymar tried hard, but the Selecao hardly troubled Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Messi’s first international trophy
On Saturday night, Lionel Messi completed his spectacular soccer career by guiding Argentina to a 1-0 victory against host Brazil in the Copa América final in Rio de Janeiro. After a succession of terrible, torturous, and infuriating failures, including probably the most humiliating setback of his career — against Germany in the World Cup final — within the same stadium, Rio’s towering Maracan, in 2014, Messi finally got his first championship with Argentina. When the final whistle rang, Messi sank to his knees and was instantly mobbed by his teammates, his relief apparent. They were lifting him above their shoulders and flinging him in the air moments later.
According to The Associated Press, Messi stated after the celebrations in the locker room, “I wanted to remove the thorn of not being able to achieve something with the national team.” “I’d come close in previous years, and I knew it was going to happen this year. I thank God for providing me with this opportunity, both against and inside Brazil. This was a time I was reserving for myself.”