VIDEO: Messi announces retirement after Argentina win Copa America title - GulfToday

VIDEO: Messi announces retirement after Argentina win Copa America title


Argentina's Lionel Messi (centre) holds the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after beating Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final. AP

Gulf Today Report

Finally Lionel Messi cried with joy as Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in Sunday's Copa America final to secure the national team's first title in 28 years and the superstar's first major international trophy.

After four losses in the finals, early exits in major tournaments and even a decision to retire from the national team the superstar celebrated a much-awaited title in the Maracana Stadium.

Messi was 18 years old when he made his international bow in 2005 for a powerful Argentina side.

Messi's hopes of international success were repeatedly frustrated despite a glittering career that has seen him help Barcelona to win the Champions League four times, La Liga 10 times and the Copa Del Rey seven times and finally Sunday's Copa America title that ended Argentina's 28-year drought of major trophies.

Argentina's Lionel Messi is thrown into the air by teammates. AFP

The captain Messi also broke the team's record for international appearances with 151 matches.


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History would not repeat itself this time around as Messi not only inspired his side but also finished the tournament as the top goalscorer and with the most assists.

Lionel Messi kneels at the end of the Copa America final soccer match at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. AP

He was named the player of the tournament, during which Messi equalled and then broke Javier Mascerano's record of 147 caps for Argentina, setting a new mark of 151 on Saturday.

Fans of Argentina celebrate after the nation's victory. AFP

Brazil became last-minute hosts of Copa America two weeks before kickoff after original organisers Colombia and Argentina withdrew. Many players protested against the tournament taking place as the COVID-19 pandemic caused thousands of deaths a day in South America, even more so in Brazil where 532,000 have died.

Officials allowed a few thousand fans into the Maracana for the decider, the only match in the tournament to have spectators. There was very little social distancing in celebrations, and some fans removed their masks.



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