Lionel Messi's Argentina Wins Copa America Title for the First Time Since 1993 as They Beat Brazil
Lionel Messi's Argentina team has managed to win the championship title in the Copa America 2021 final on Saturday, July 10, in Rio de Janeiro after beating host team Brazil. Argentina had last snatched a major title in 1993.
Argentina's win marks a significant moment for Lionel Messi, its team captain, who earlier said that he aims for an international win with his team, NPR reported.
Lionel Messi said he had been sad many times, but he knew that this would happen. The team captain noted that his team deserves to win.
The Argentinian team celebrated their major win in a virtually empty Maracanã Stadium, with organizers and local authorities only allowing a small number of spectators to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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Lionel Messi and His Team
Lionel Messi was named the Player of the Tournament at the Copa America 2021 and shared the game's Golden Boot with Colombia's Luis Diaz, ESPN TV 5 reported.
Both players had scored four goals, with Lionel Messi playing with five assists. Messi paid tribute to Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, saying it is because of what Scaloni has done and what he has built for the team.
Lionel Messi noted that Scaloni knew how to create a winning group and that the Argentinian coach deserves the recognition. The team captain said it has been a long time since Argentina became the champions of South America.
Lionel Messi is a free agent after his Barcelona contract expired on June 30. He has won everything in the club game with Barcelona and has been named the best player in the world on six occasions.
However, winning for his team in Argentina has not been an easy effort for him. Lionel Messi said one had to take advantage of the momentum when winning as it was easier when results accompany the player.
Brazil in Copa America 2021
The tournament ended in disappointment for hosts Brazil. Brazilian-born former German International Paolo Rink said that without the spectators, something is missing.
Thiago Bri, the owner of the Dantes restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, said there was hardly any difference from normal days during the Copa America tournament.
Brazilian footballer Felipe Adao said the issues that Brazil is experiencing right now affected the concentration of the players. Adao cited the parliamentary investigation on the COVID-19 policy, DW reported.
The location of this year's Copa America games has also become an issue, with concerns whether the country can organize the games with the peaking COVID-19 rates.
Only about 5,000 audiences watched the game live, with some paying up to $5,000 to intermediaries to attend the game.
Meanwhile, fans flocked to the Obelisco de Buenos Aires without social distancing and many without masks. Argentina had reported 20,000 new COVID cases earlier in the week.
More than 19 million infections had been recordedin Brazil, with over 17 million recoveries to date. The Brazil team had earlier faced controversy when its team players had let in a barber to have their haircuts despite health protocols imposed.
This article is owned by Latin Post
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Celebrations in Buenos Aires as Argentina Claim Copa America Title - From Al Jazeera English
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