Lionel Messi has finally landed a major trophy with Argentina; leading them to win the Copa America title with a 1-0 win over Brazil at the famous Maracana Stadium.
Angel Di Maria’s goal gave Argentina a 1-0 win over hosts Brazil in the Copa America final on Saturday.
The victory at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium ended Argentina’s 28-year wait for a major trophy, and also ended Brazil’s unbeaten home record that stretched back more than 2,500 days.
Argentina had last tasted success at a major tournament in 1993 when the great Gabriel Batistuta’s brace gave them a 2-1 win over Mexico in the Copa final in Ecuador.
“It’s a great title, especially for our people. The fans support the team unconditionally. I think they can identify with this team that never gives in,” said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni.
This was the first time in six editions playing at home that Brazil had failed to lift the trophy.
As expected, it was never going to be easy for Argentina but they edged a brutal and fractious affair thanks to Di Maria’s goal in the 22nd minute.
The 33-year-old winger ran onto Rodrigo De Paul’s sumptuous through ball to lob Brazil goalkeeper Ederson with a first-time finish.
“We fell short so many times, we dreamt so much about this, fought so hard,” said Di Maria, who was named man of the match.
“Many people said we wouldn’t manage it, we were criticized a lot. But we kept knocking at the door and kept going until today we knocked it down and entered.”