It finally ended with a lots of celebration, as the Lionel Messi’s long wait to earn a major trophy gets fulfilled after Argentina beats Brazil by 1-0 in Copa America finals.
Angel Di Maria earns the title of matchwinner at Maracana in Rio as finally Messi’s dream to won something with his country Argentina in what was his 10th major tournament. Messi overwhelmingly fell to the ground in joy at full-time, while some players like Neymar were in tears after he was unable to inspire Brazil to victory.
After helping Argentina end their 28-year wait since they last won the Copa America, Messi was named player of the tournament after his four goals in the competition. The 34-year-old had previously been a beaten finalist on four separate occasions with Argentina – three times in the Copa America and once in the World Cup.
Di Maria scored the winner midway through in the first half with a superb lob over Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson following a perfect pass from Rodrigo De Paul.
Brazil were poor throughout the match and struggled to test Emiliano Martinez at the other end.
Messi will now face questions about his immediate future, given he is currently a free agent after his contract at Barcelona expired two weeks ago.
There is also the prospect of Messi going for what would likely be his last chance of winning the World Cup in 2022, should he lead his country out in Qatar at the age of 35.
Since Lionel Messi’s contract at Barcelona has officially expired he is free to be taken in any other club.
The Argentine superstar’s current deal lapsed at midnight in Spain on Tuesday, which was 11pm BST.
Messi’s contract was reportedly worth an eye-watering £476million over four years, which works out at around £119m per season.
The signing-on fee was £99m alone, with a further £67m due as a loyalty bonus, according to reports in Spain.
Barcelona’s financial situation is said to be in a poor state, with the coronavirus pandemic hitting revenues hard.
Negotiations over an extension are reportedly ongoing, but as yet no official confirmation has been made.
As it stands, for the first time since 2000, Messi is no longer under contract with Barcelona.
The 34-year-old made clear his desire to leave the club last summer, only to be convinced to stay for at least another year.
He kept up his stunning form with 30 goals in 35 La Liga appearances to win the Pichichi for an eighth time.