Argentina defeated Brazil to win the Copa America, its first major title since 1993 and the first major international crown for captain Lionel Messi.
The victory at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium adds an international recognition to Messi’s CV after winning several trophies at club level with Barcelona.
It was an entertaining but hard-fought match on both sides as Messi squared off against former Barca team-mate Neymar, who was repeatedly rejected throughout the night.
Angel Di Maria gave Argentina the lead, and eventually a winner in the 22nd minute, when he threw himself over Rodan Lodi’s stray clearing and ran the ball over Ederson for the goal.
Brazil seemed to have leveled the scores after 52 minutes as he gave the ball away to Emiliano Martinez. Minutes later, Richarlison saw his shot from close range blocked by Martinez.
The hosts kept the pressure on as Gabriel Barbosa struck a 30 meter free kick home 86 minutes into the match.