Lionel Messi’s Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final to secure the national team’s first title in 28 years and the superstar’s first major international trophy.
Argentina won its first major title after 28 years for a 1-0 win against Brazil. And Lionel Messi finally lifted his first major trophy for the national team, filling in one of the biggest gaps in his decorated career.
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.
The team of coach Tite had won their previous five matches in the Copa America and scored goals in all of them.
Messi’s performance in the final was not as impressive as in previous matches of the tournament, during which he scored four goals and had five assists.
He had a clear opportunity in the 88th minute, tried to dribble Ederson, but the Brazilian goalkeeper stopped him.
The title, however, provides the superstar with some relief after all the questions throughout his career on his effectiveness playing for the national team.