he Argentinian national soccer team took home a long-awaited victory within the Copa América final Saturday night, beating host team Brazil 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro and securing the title for the primary time since 1993.
The championship game of the most important soccer tournament in South America decreased to only one point, scored by Argentinian player Ángel Di María within the 22nd minute.
Argentina’s win marks an especially poignant milestone for captain Lionel Messi, 34, who previously struggled to win a world championship together with his home team.
“It’s crazy. I can not explain how happy I feel,” Messi said. “I’ve been sad repeatedly but I knew it might happen and there is no better moment. This team deserved it,” he added.
Messi is widely considered one of the simplest soccer players within the world, winning multiple titles with the Spanish club team Barcelona, but never sharing an equivalent success with Argentina, until Saturday.
“If there’s one thing that you simply could knock on Messi’s legacy, it’s that he’d never taken Argentina to the mountaintop, either the planet Cup or Copa América, which for them is nearly even as important,” ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
Notably, the Argentinian team celebrated their win during a virtually empty Maracanã Stadium Saturday night.
Organizers and native authorities only permitted a little number of spectators in hopes of further reducing COVID-19 transmission as Brazil continues to figure at curbing numbers. At the top of June, the country reported an all-time high in cases of the disease.
Despite an inability to observe the sport face to face, fans still reveled in their team’s win Saturday evening. From outside Maracanã Stadium to the streets of Buenos Aires, fans of Argentina rejoiced together, toasting the top of a 28-year long await victory.