The 34-year-old football icon carried Argentina on his shoulder throughout the tournament and successfully helped the country to stop their wait for a major international trophy.
From the start of Copa America which was postponed from the summer of 2020 to the summer of 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Lionel Messi proved that he is one of the greatest individuals to ever kick a ball.
He showcased that in seven 2020 Copa America matches in which he scored four goals and provided 5 assists. This means that the record 6 times Ballon d’Or winner contributed 9 goals in 7 games before the tournament ended.
Lionel Messi’s performance earned him the top scorer of the tournament award. He won the award alongside Colombia’s Luis Díaz with four goals each. Messi was also named the best player of the tournament alongside Brazil’s Neymar.
Lionel Messi in Copa America final
Brazil faced Argentina in the final of the Copa America in the historic Maracana stadium in Brazil. The final was expected to be Lionel Messi vs Neymar’s show. But the two iconic stars were not able to create as many chances as expected.
However, Lionel Messi was a thorn in the flesh of Brazilian defenders as he tormented them throughout the game. Yet, they didn’t give him enough breathing space to score or provide an assist in the final.
When he could not do the needed magic, his teammate, Angel Di Maria broke through the Brazil defense and chipped a shot over the head of Ederson in the 22nd minute.
The first-half goal was all Messi needed to win his first senior trophy for Argentina to give his supporters more reasons to call him the greatest of all time.
The Argentina national team singing the iconic "Brasil, decime que se siente" in the locker room after winning the Copa America. This from Di Maria's Instagram. pic.twitter.com/8WG7LQlcEs— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) July 11, 2021
The goalscorer of the Copa America final, Di Maria said: “It’s going to be unforgettable. Messi told me thanks to me, I said thanks to him!
“He told me that it was my final, that it was the rematch for the finals that I couldn’t play. It had to be today and today it was.
“I am happy for my daughters, my wife, my parents, all the people who supported us, and for all the crazy people who came here.
“A World Cup is coming up soon and this is a huge boost.”
While Argentine midfielder, Rodrigo De Paul said: “This is more than we dreamed of. Being champion in the Maracana against Brazil exceeds all kinds of expectations. I am very happy.
“Messi needed everyone, and we needed him. He is the best of all time.”.
Look at the Argentina squad with Messi ❤️🇦🇷❤️🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/Aq7zcru1iE— MessiTeam (@Lionel10Team) July 11, 2021
“What a beautiful madness” for Messi
After Lionel Messi finally silent those who always criticize him for not winning a major title for Argentina despite winning everything in club football for FC Barcelona, the football star took to Instagram to describe the outcome of the Copa America final as a beautiful madness.
In his Instagram post, he posed with the Copa America trophy topless and embraced it so tightly to show how dear it means to him. In the caption, the football icon wrote in Spanish: “What a beautiful madness !!! This is amazing, thank you God!!! WE ARE CHAMPIONS THE SHELL OF YOUR MOTHER !!!!!! Come on damn”.
In another Instagram post, Messi posed with the country’s goalkeeper, Emiliano Martínez. In the picture, the football icon and the Aston Villa goalkeeper displayed the awards they won in the 2020 Copa America.
The awards included the tournament’s trophy, the best player of the tournament, and the tournament’s top scorer award for Messi. It also included the best goalkeeper of the tournament award for Martínez.
In the caption, Messi wrote: “Congratulations beast !!! More than deserved! You are crack”.