Lionel Messi's biggest dream – winning an international trophy with Argentina – turned into a reality as the Albiceleste defeated arch-rivals Brazil at the Maracana to lift the Copa America 2021 title. After falling short on multiple occasions, the Argentina skipper was finally able to end his and the nations’ wait for glory as Argentina were again crowned as the South American champions after 28 long years. Argentina 1-0 Brazil, Copa America 2021 Final: Albiceleste End 28-Year Title Drought At Maracana.
‘My biggest dream is to win a title with this shirt. I will keep trying. I will always fight for this dream. This time we win this Copa,’ said Lionel Messi ahead of the Championship, and on Saturday, the night belonged to the 34-year-old as Argentina, achieved what many deemed impossible, beating Brazil in their backyard, at the Mecca of football, the Maracana. Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr Share Special Moment Following Argentina's Copa America 2021 Final Win.
Champions Of South America
— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) July 11, 2021
The Argentine icon begin the tournament with a purpose and was the main protagonist in his team's run to the final, scoring four goals and setting up another five. However, the Barcelona man had done this all before only to end up on the losing side with Albiceleste coming up short in the 2014 World Cup and 2015, 2016 Copa America finals.
However, this time things looked different as Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina were unlike many that preceded them, a team that lacked superstars of yesteryears but were more united than ever. And that spirit was evident throughout their Copa America campaign, as the rookie manager’s boldness and Albiceleste’s soul combined with their star man’s undeniable quality, saw them once again reign supreme in South America.
The Moment He Was Champion
What. A. Moment. 💙 pic.twitter.com/wccBfZwUH7
— Reshad Rahman (@ReshadRahman_) July 11, 2021
Lionel Messi was involved in nine of Argentina’s 11 goals on route to the final, playing crucial roles in the other two as well. And heading into the showpiece clash, the onus seemed to be on the 34-year-old to create opportunities. But on a night where the Barcelona man struggled, it was his teammates who stepped up to the occasion, unlike previous times, leading Albiceleste and the great No. ‘10’ to an international trophy.
The win brought some relief to Lionel Messi, who broke down into tears when the referee blew the final whistle as after several setbacks and a heart-breaking temporary retirement, he can finally call himself a champion with Argentina.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 11, 2021 10:54 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).