Lionel Messi’s Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in Saturday’s Copa America final to secure the national team’s first title in 28 years and the superstar’s first major international trophy.
Argentina’s winning goal at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro came in the 22nd minute after Rodrigo de Paul made a long pass to Angel di Maria.
The 33-year-old veteran striker counted on some sloppy defending from left-back Renan Lodi to take control and lob it past goalkeeper Ederson. It was only the third goal Brazil conceded in the tournament.
Neymar tried hard with dribbles and passes, but the Selecao barely threatened Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Argentina XI: Damian Martinez, Otamendi, Acuna, Montiel, Romero, De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso, Messi, Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez
Brazil XI: Ederson, Thiago Silva, Danilo, Marquinhos, Renan Lodi, Casemiro, Fred, Everton, Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Neymar
By this victory, Lionel Messi has eventually ended his wait for a first major international title.
Messi, 34, dropped to the ground in joy at the full-time whistle and was swiftly mobbed by his team-mates, before being hurled in the air in celebration, as he finally claimed top-level honours with his country in his 10th major tournament.
While Messi was celebrating, his Brazilain equivalent, Neymar, sank to his knees in tears at the final whistle.