Lionel Messi arrives at the Islas Malvinas airport in Rosario, Argentina
Gulf Today Report
The Argentine star Lionel Messi dedicated the title of the “Copa America” to his family and his late star and his idol Diego Armando Maradona.
Argentina won its first Copa America title since 1993 against Brazil with a clean goal by Angel Di Maria at the famous Maracana stadium in Rio Janeiro last Saturday.
Messi won the first major international title with his country, which was long overdue after failing in four major final matches.
"I want to dedicate this success to my family, who have always given me the confidence to continue... to my friends who I love very much... to all the people who support us, and above all to the 45 million Argentines who have suffered so much with this virus," Messi said through his account on Instagram.
Argentina is close to nearly one hundred thousand deaths due to COVID-19, and withdrew hosting the tournament weeks before its launch due to the repercussions of the pandemic, along with Colombia, which is witnessing violent anti-government protests.
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) moved the tournament to Brazil at the last minute, amid harsh criticism against officials in the country, which recorded more than half a million deaths from the virus, the second highest number after the United States.
Messi, who was named the best player in the tournament, also saluted Maradona, who died at the age of 60, last November, noting that, "Diego was definitely supporting us wherever he was."
Argentina did not organise official celebrations due to the repercussions of the pandemic, but thousands gathered in the capital, Buenos Aires, when the team returned to the country, and welcomed its heroes, while thousands gathered in various Argentine cities to celebrate this achievement.
The 34-year-old Barcelona star concluded, “In order to continue the celebration, we must take care of each other, and we must not forget that there is still a long way to go for things to return to normal. Take advantage of this joy to find strength to fight this virus together.”
After four losses in finals, early exits in major tournaments and even a decision to retire from the national team as the superstar celebrated a much-awaited title in the Maracana Stadium.
Among the most expensive goods to be auctioned is a house from the 1980s that Maradona gave to his parents in the Villa Devoto neighbourhood of Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. It will have a starting price of $900,000.
Messi had said that he and his team were the victims of "corruption" after the forward was sent off for an altercation with Gary Medel during the first half of Argentina's 2-1 defeat of Chile.
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