Lionel Messi excelled in the Copa America ….
Lionel Messi and Neymar were opponents on the field when Brazil and Argentina closed horns in the final of the Copa America 2021 at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday.
The former FC Barcelona team-mates, very close friends from the field, are two of the biggest superstars in South America and World Football, and the titanic battle led to Messi’s Argentina winning 1-0, thanks to An Angel Di Maria strike.
While Brazil scored 12 goals in the competition, Argentina also scored the same number of goals.
Both Messi and Neymar were both impressive in the Copa America, but in terms of the impact and importance of the players for their respective parties, Messi is clear to him.
The former FC Barcelona captain has scored four goals and five assists. He had a direct impact on nine of the twelve goals Argentina scored. Compared to Messi, Neymar scored two goals and delivered three assists, contributing up to five goals from Brazil’s 12 attacks.
It was Messi’s tournament and the icing on the cake was that La Albiceleste won the trophy. Argentina have not won an international trophy since winning the Copa America in 1993, and Messi himself has never won an international title, losing four finals (one World Cup and three Copa Americas) in his career before Sunday’s victory .
How did Messi and Neymar fare in the 2021 Copa America?
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Licensed Statistics: Squawka
What did Neymar and Messi say before the final?
‘Messi is, as I have always said, the best player I have ever seen play, and he is a good friend, but now we are in a final, we are opponents. “I want to win and I really want to win this title, which would be my first Copa America,” said Neymar.
‘Messi has been looking for his first title with the national team for years, and every time we [Brazil] not at the tournament, I applauded him. This is what I cheered for in the 2014 World Cup final when he faced Germany.
“Now Brazil is in the dispute, so our friendship is at stake. The respect between us is still great, but only one can win.
“If you’re friends with someone, it’s hard to forget the friendship you have – but if you’re playing video games with a friend, for example, you want to beat him anyway. It’s going to be the same on Saturday.”
Messi, meanwhile, said: “Brazil, with Neymar, is going to be very difficult. We know what his potential is, what he is doing individually.”
What did Messi and Neymar do after the final?
Messi and Neymar, immediately in the aftermath of the final, were seen embracing each other wholeheartedly.