JULY 11, 2021
Lionel Messi fell on his knees the moment the final whistle was blown by the referee at the historic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro as it signalled the end of a 28-year trophy drought for La Albiceleste.
Argentina had finally won a final and Messi had his first major trophy with the senior team, as they beat Brazil 1-0 in the final courtesy a 22nd minute strike from Angel Di Maria.
This was Argentina’s first Copa America title win since 1993. Messi had lost three Copa America finals himself and the 2014 FIFA World Cup final knows everything about the pain of failing at the final hurdle. So, when his dear friend Neymar came to congratulate him after the match, Messi gave him a tight and long hug to console his former FC Barcelona teammate.
¡LO LINDO DEL FÚTBOL! Emotivo abrazo entre Messi y Neymar ¡ÍDOLOS!
Argentina Brasil #VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/ecknhlv2VI
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 11, 2021
While the two were embracing each other, the celebrating Argentine players came very close to the two. Messi pushed them away with his hands even as he continued to console Neymar.
Neymar wasn’t part of the Brazil team that won the Copa America in 2019 and was eager to win his first major trophy with the Selecao.
Both the players have utmost respect for each other. The duo was picked as the best players at this year’s tournament by CONMEBOL.