Last Saturday evening, Lionel Messi won the first major international trophy of his incredible footballing career.
The little magician’s Argentina side defeated Brazil 1-0 in the final of the 2021 Copa America, Angel Di Maria grabbing the only goal in a tense affair between the South American rivals.
Messi’s performance in Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracana Stadium was surprisingly below-par, but the majority of his teammates turned up to help secure victory for the Barcelona superstar.
One player who dropped an absolute masterclass for Argentina was Atletico Madrid-bound Rodrigo De Paul.
The silky midfielder covered every single blade of grass and it was his perfectly-weighted pass that assisted Di Maria’s goal.
After the game, De Paul – like the rest of the Argentina team – was absolutely ecstatic, although despite his impressive performance, he was still given a bit of a telling off by his colleagues.
The 27-year-old tried to start singing a song mocking Brazil, but the nation’s captain Messi and several others quickly told him to stop.
Messi stops De Paul mocking Brazil
Nicely done, Leo.
Even though the game was an incredibly fiery affair, with nine yellow cards handed out by the referee, there was no need to take cheap shots at the opposing team after a historic victory.
Messi clearly didn’t want anything to tarnish arguably the biggest night of his career so far, with the 34-year-old posting a touching message about the triumph from his official Instagram account.
He wrote: “At the Maracana and in a clasico against Brazil…I cannot be any prouder to captain this spectacular group. I dedicate this success to my family that always gave me strength to carry on, to my friends that I love so much, to all the people that support us, especially to the 45 million Argentinians that have had such a bad time with this s— virus, above all to those that affected them closely.
“It’s for all of you. And of course, also to Diego [Maradona], who for sure supported us wherever he is. Thank you God for all you gave me and thanks for making me Argentinian!!!”