28 years after its last title, Argentina took the Copa America by beating Brazil. At 34 years old, Lionel Messi can finally breathe!
Insatiable with FC Barcelona, club with which he alternates between the grandiose and the sensational since his beginnings, Lionel Messi had never been able to do the same with his country. Last night, the Argentine prodigy won his first trophy with the Albiceleste by beating Brazil in the final of the Copa America (1-0). After four lost finals, the number 10 now 34 years old can finally breathe, and wait patiently for a Ballon d’Or (the seventh!) which is already in his hands.
And as Lionel Messi likes to do things in a big way, it is in the Maracanã stadium, mythical home of the Seleçao, that he flew to the top. But in Rio de Janeiro, coming up against Brazil was no easy task. The Rosario native had to rely on the talent of his team-mates.
Angel Di Maria makes his special
The Brazilians were the more dangerous side in the early stages of the game, helped by their possession of the ball. But their dominance was too sterile to really cause Argentina any problems, and was only materialized by a missed shot from Neymar, who was well impeded by Nicolas Otamendi. The Albiceleste then made the difference thanks to the talent of two men: Rodrigo de Paul, a magnificent pass for Angel Di Maria, who scored with a little lob that he has always had the secret of (1-0, 22nd).
The Argentine winger, partner of Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain, even had the opportunity to score twice, in front of the few fans present in the Maracana stadium, which sounded far too empty. However, his curling left-footed effort from the edge of the box was deflected by an attentive Thiago Silva.
Argentina, 28 years later…
After the break, Brazil were quick to show a more conquering face, led by Richarlison. The Seleçao striker almost got his reward, but his goal was disallowed for offside. The Everton striker, who was set up by Neymar, then lost his duel with Emiliano Martinez. The end of the game was in the Seleçao’s favor, as they began to press forward, but Gabigol was unable to capitalize on a golden opportunity… Twenty-eight years later, Argentina are back at the top of South American soccer, and they are back to the joy of a Copa America victory, thanks in no small part to Lionel Messi, who had a masterclass in tournament play.