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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Copa America Final: Moments when Lionel Messi took centrestage

Messi moments: No one found the cameras tracking him as much as Lionel Messi

By: Express News Service |
Updated: July 12, 2021 8:21:35 am
Lionel Messi is lifted by his Argentina teammates at the end of the Copa America final (Twitter/SachinTendulkar)

5th minute

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.

22nd minute

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.

32nd minute

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.

50th minute

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.

66th minute

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.

90-plus-five

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.

90-plus-10

After the celebrations, he walks up to a disconsolate Neymar, slumped on the ground, and consoles him for nearly five minutes.

105th minute

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.

READ | How Argentina defeated Brazil: Tight defence, clipping wings and isolating Neymar

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