Messi Savours ‘Special’ Copa America Triumph With Argentina After Near Misses
Lionel Messi has reiterated his relief at finally ending his international trophy hoodoo with Argentina.
Argentina won a first major trophy for 28 years this summer after beating Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final.
The trophy also helped Messi win a first senior accolade with his country after losing Copa America finals in 2007, 2015 and 2016 as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup final.
"After so much suffering, lifting something with the national team was special," Paris Saint-Germain's Messi – Argentina's all-time leading goalscorer and most-capped player – told ESPN. "There was a part of the journalists that treated me as a failure and that I didn't feel the shirt.
"Everything I won was important, I was lucky to have won a lot of things in a row at my club and very fast and the blows came later.
"With the national team, it was blow after blow, that made it more important now. It cost a lot to get it.
"When we won, I couldn't believe it. I dreamed it so much that I didn't understand what was happening. Honestly, I enjoy it more now when I see the images than that moment."
"I don't know where I'd place it [Copa America triumph]. Everything I won was important but this was the most difficult," Messi added.
"A lot of things happened and I won very quickly at Barcelona. At the national team, it was one hit after another."