World News

Argentina win Copa America 2021 with 1-0 victory over Brazil

Tom Gott
Lionel Messi finally won an international trophy
Lionel Messi finally won an international trophy / Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Lionel Messi's wait for an international trophy is over as his Argentina side secured a 1-0 victory over Brazil to lift the Copa America 2021 trophy in their arch rivals' back yard on Saturday night.

The 34-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career at club level but had never managed to lead his country to a major trophy, with some critics claiming he could never be seen as the all-time great without success on the international scene as well.

Well, he's finally done it.

Argentina ran out 1-0 winners in the Copa America final against fierce rivals Brazil at the Maracana, with Angel Di Maria's first-half goal enough to lead La Albiceleste to glory.

The game got off to a nervy start but Argentina eventually took control of proceedings in the 22nd minute through the Paris Saint-Germain winger, who ran on to a long ball from Rodrigo de Paul and benefited from some shoddy defending from Renan Lodi to find himself one-on-one with Ederson, who was powerless to stop his glorious lob.

Brazil's determination to fight back saw the game turn into more of a wrestling match, with plenty of tough tackles flying around, and Argentina were just as happy to retaliate with some crunchers of their own.

There were easily more fouls than chances on goal here, with Brazil notably underwhelming in attack. Everton forward Richarlison had his side's best opportunities and even had the ball in the back of the net shortly after half-time, only for VAR to rightly rule the goal out for offside.

Messi soon had a chance to make it 2-0, but slipped at the vital moment when charging through at Ederson's goal and ended up on the ground.

He'd find himself there again at the full-time whistle, collapsing on the Maracana pitch in tears as he was mobbed by his teammates, all of whom clearly understood just how much this victory meant to him.

Neymar was seen shedding tears of his own after the game as his wait for a major international trophy continues, but he was given the consolation prize of the trophy for the best player at the tournament - an honour he shared with Messi.

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