Messi Ends International Trophy Hoodoo As Di Maria Strike Wins Copa America Against Brazil
Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 in the 2021 Copa America final at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday as Lionel Messi finally won his first international trophy with the Albiceleste.
Angel Di Maria’s exquisite lob over Brazil goalkeeper Ederson in the 22nd minute following a superb through pass from Atletico Madrid-bound Rodrigo de Paul proved to be the decisive goal as Argentina won South America’s flagship tournament for the first time since 1993.
Playing in front of a modest 7,000 crowd due to coronavirus restrictions, Brazil huffed and puffed for an equaliser but the closest they came was when substitute Gabriel Barbosa’s strike was tipped over by the impressive Emiliano Martinez in the Argentina goal late in the game.
It is fourth-time lucky for Messi, who had previously lost three Copa America finals as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup final against Germany.
The 34-year-old also won the Best Player of the tournament and his four goals were enough to earn him the top scorer award.
Messi is out of contract with club side Barcelona but talks are ongoing regarding an extension and an agreement could be reached in the coming days.
The six-time Ballon d’or winner’s latest feat has thrown him into the conversation for the world’s most prestigious individual award this year too.