‘The GOAT debate is finally over’: Fans rush to proclaim Lionel Messi as the greatest of all time on Twitter after he finally ends his international drought by leading Argentina to Copa America glory
- Argentina beat Brazil in the final of the Copa America on Saturday night
- Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half
- The win saw Lionel Messi claim a major trophy with his country for the first time
Football fans have taken to social media to label Lionel Messi the greatest footballer of all time after he finally won a trophy with his country.
Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the game as Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final on Saturday night.
The victory saw Messi claim his first piece of silverware with his nation, ending a drought he has often been criticised for.
Lionel Messi finally won his first major trophy with Argentina on Saturday evening
Messi, currently a free agent after his contract at Barcelona expired, fell to the floor at full-time in a sign of huge relief, while his former team-mate Neymar was in tears after he was unable to inspire Brazil to victory.
It was a huge hurdle crossed for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has been a beaten finalist on four separate occasions with Argentina – three times in the Copa America and once in the World Cup.
The match was decided by a goal midway through the first half from Angel Di Maria, who lobbed Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson following a perfect Rodrigo De Paul pass.
Brazil were poor throughout the contest and struggled to test Emiliano Martinez at the other end. Everton forward Richarlison had Brazil’s best chance when he forced the Aston Villa keeper into a save.
Messi, who was named player of the tournament – a prize he shared with Neymar – after his four goals helped Argentina lift the trophy, should have found the net himself at the Maracana, but with the goal at his mercy he slipped when through one-on-one against Ederson.
It mattered not and, 16 years after making his debut for Argentina, Messi finally got his hands on an international title.
In the process, he silenced critics who had always pointed to his lack of success with his country as a reason why he should not be considered the best player of all time, despite his brilliance at club level.