Lionel Messi has captained Argentina to win yet another trophy as the Copa America champions defeated European champions 3-0 to become the Finalissima champions.
Goals from Martinez and Di Maria in the first half put the South Americans on a freeway before a late strike by Dybala added the icing. Lionel Messi made his mark with two assits in the game.
There was a time Argentinians didn’t really rate Lionel Messi.
After 3 consecutive final losses with one of them being the 2014 World Cup final against Germany, Argentinians expressed their unhappiness by raging at Lionel Messi. They claimed the little magician does not replicate his club magic performance for his national team. A lot of them believed he doesn’t have enough commitment to the team.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Lionel Messi was termed as the next Maradona and was seen as someone who will bring back the 1986 World Cup glory.
Messi had Just won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship against Nigeria emerging as tournament best player. His trickery, fast left-footed dribbling and finishing quickly earned him a call up to the senior team in August 2005.
In 2006, Messi represented Argentina at the World Cup becoming the youngest player to play and score for Argentina in this tournament. The PSG star won the Best Young Player in 2007 Copa America after losing in the final.
It was when Messi won the Olympic Gold medal for Argentina in Beijing 2008, Argentinians hoped their Messiah had arrived, the man who will eventually bring all the trophies home and was made captain of the squad in August, 2011.
Mesi won the Golden ball in 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America but lost both finals. All these events made Argentinians sad but it was the 2016 Copa America final loss to Chile that broke the fans and broke Messi.
Argentinians protested against Messi, after this third consecutive final loss. They were rightly devastated, perhaps their Messiah isn’t actually theirs, maybe he only performs miracle in Barcelona.
The 34-year-old retired after the Copa America tournament in 2016 but reversed his decision and helped his country qualify for 2018 World Cup before losing to eventual winners, France in the round of 16. He then led his team to a 3rd place finish at the 2019 Copa America.
At this point, most Argentinians had lost hope in the Lionel Messi era, some even thought they were cursed.
In 2021 Copa America, Messi finally won a trophy for Argentina Senior national team. After a promising start and an international career filled with a lot of hiccups, Argentinians were finally happy again. The seven time Balon d’Or winner won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot of this memorable tournament, the little magician has won a trophy for Argentina Senior Team.
Today, Lionel Messi wins another trophy with Argentina Senior team as they outclassed European Champions, Italy to be crowned Finalissima champions.
Luis Lionel Andres Messi now holds the record of most appearances for Argentina (161) and the most goals for the country (81).