Argentina finally did it. Messi finally did it. After 5 failed finals, they finally did it.
28 years had to pass for Argentina to win another international trophy again. During those 28 years, Argentina would continue to fall short from international glory over and over again. This failures include back-to-back Copa America final losses against Brazil (2005 and 2007) and Chile (2015 and 2016) respectively. To top it off, Argentina also lost in the 2014 World Cup final to Germany. It’s safe to say that there was urgency from Argentina to win this tournament.
The game had a slow start as the game was stopped to call a foul every 10 seconds. Both teams didn’t want to give each other space to grow, so it resulted in a foul-fest.
Argentina’s resilience was rewarded in the 20th minute when Angel Di Maria opened up the scoresheet. The Brazilian defenders were caught sleeping in the back, and Di Maria punished them by chipping the ball over Ederson.
Aside from a few saves from Argentina’s goalkeeper, the game continued to be a foul competition between the two nations. It seemed at times as if both teams did not have an urgency to score.
Lionel Messi did come close to sealing the deal in the 88′ minute as he slipped when trying to round the Brazilian goalkeeper. This Messi blunder wouldn’t have aged well if Brazil managed to turn it around. But in the end, this was forgotten as Brazil was unable to break the Argentinean defense.
Now that Messi finally won an international trophy, does this settle the GOAT discussion? Does Messi leading Argentina to their first Copa America in 28 years give him the upper-hand over Ronaldo?
The answer to this question is yes (for now at least). I say “for now at least” as there’s still the World Cup next year and Ronaldo could win it with Portugal. But for now, Messi is in the driving seat after lifting the Copa America tonight.
Many (especially Ronaldo fans) refused to give Messi the GOAT label because of his inability to win with Argentina. Now that he captained Argentina to Copa America glory, what’s the excuse now!
Many will mentioned that Messi didn’t have the best game, and even bring up his blunder in the dying minutes. Although this is true, Messi was by far the best player in this tournament, contributing to 9 out of Argentina’s 11 goals this tournament. In addition, Messi was also named the player of the tournament and the tournament’s top goal scorer. With these stats, it’s clear that Lionel Messi did his part to carry Argentina to the final. What else do you want from him!
Many will disagree that Messi’s the GOAT, but we can all agree we’ll never see a player like him again.
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