Argentina wins their first major title since 1993 and Lionel Messi finally lifts his first major trophy for the national team.
Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in Saturday’s final in the Copa America to win the first national team title in 28 years.
Argentina’s goal at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro came in the 22nd minute after Rodrigo de Paul made a long pass to Angel di Maria.
The 33-year-old veteran striker had a sloppy defense from left-back Renan Lodi to take control and throw it in front of goalkeeper Ederson.
It was only the third goal conceded by Brazil in the tournament.
Brazil stacked the pressure in an exciting second half, but even with five strikers on the field they could not get the equalizer against an Argentine defense protected by the exceptional Rodrigo De Paul.
Argentina’s victory was a particular triumph for Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who won his first title with a blue and white shirt after more than a decade of club and individual honors.
When the match was over, a tearful Messi was thrown into the air by some of his cheerful teammates.
Messi finished the tournament’s top scorer with four goals and was voted best team player along with Neymar. But he was quiet all the time and missed a golden opportunity to end the match with two minutes to go.
When the final whistle came out, Argentina TV declared “Champion of Argentina, champion of Lionel Messi!”
The victory was the 15th victory of the Copa America in Argentina and means that they tie Uruguay as the all-time winners.
His victory extended the streak of unbeaten matches to 20 with Lionel Scaloni and gave Brazil their first competitive defeat since losing to Belgium in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup.