Messi walks out of the tunnel, a faint smile adorning his face. He walks up to Neymar, his ex-Barcelona teammate, and hugs him warmly, before rejoining his team for the national anthem, which he sings softly.
Angel di Maria lifts the ball over Brazil’s goalkeeper Ederson after receiving a long pass from Rodrigo De Paul. Messi rushes and embraces him, celebrating wildly, as if he had scored the goal himself or assisted it.
A nearly-moment for Messi. A fast counter finds Messi in favourable position to double his team’s tally, but he’s slightly off-balance and the attempt, from a yard outside the box, flies wide of the goal. Messi is aghast — half a chance as it was, Messi has often scored from that range.
Messi slips into the box and squirts a lovely ball into Di Maria’s path. But the winger’s shot lacks finesse. Messi holds his hand in the air in dismay. Perhaps, he should have attempted a shot himself.
This time, he clings onto the ball too long. In the time he ponders his options, he’s dispossessed. Di Maria was patiently, and relatively unmarked, waiting for the pass. Messi instantly apologises.
Messi when Argentina became Champions 😍 pic.twitter.com/aKNH0muyuG
— MessiTeam (@Lionel10Team) July 11, 2021
Argentina holds on to the lead after a frantic stoppage time. Messi sinks into the ground and starts weeping, before being piled over by his colleagues and support staff.
After the celebrations, he walks up to a disconsolate Neymar, slumped on the ground, and consoles him for nearly five minutes.
💙 Deserved adulation for a man who was utterly astonishing at the @CopaAmerica 🏆
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 11, 2021
Messi kisses the trophy and shows the medal to his family through a video call. Later, he is tossed in the air by his teammates.
— Messi Worldwide (@Messi_Worldwide) July 11, 2021
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) July 11, 2021