Neymar has revealed what he told Lionel Messi during their embrace after the Copa America 2021 final between Brazil and Argentina.
The former Barcelona teammates came up against each other on Sunday to win South America's most prestigious football prize. Messi came out on top, with Angel Di Maria scoring the only goal of the game. The 1-0 win ended Argentina's 28-year wait for a major trophy and saw Messi pick up his first-ever title on the international stage.
After the game, Neymar took to Instagram to congratulate Messi and Argentina on their achievement. He wrote: "Losing hurts me and it's something I still haven't learned to live with.
"Yesterday, when I lost, I went to give a hug to the greatest and best I have ever seen play in football history, my friend and brother Messi. I was sad and I joked to him 'you son of a bitch, you've beaten me!'
"I'm very sad to have lost, but this guy is awesome! I have great respect for what he has done for football and especially for me. I hate to lose! But enjoy your title. Football was waiting for you for that moment! Congratulations brother."
Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni revealed that Messi had played with a hamstring injury through most of the tournament. He said: “If you knew the way that he played in the Copa America you’d love him even more. You can never do without a player like him, even when he is not fully fit like in this game and the previous one.”