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The Barcelona star struggled to contain his emotions after helping Argentina to Copa America glory by beating Brazil 1-0
Lionel Messi spoke of his “immense happiness” after the Argentina star finally ended his long wait for international glory with victory in the Copa America final against Brazil.
Despite his dizzying array of domestic medals, an international honour with the Albiceleste has eluded the 34-year-old – until now.
A first-half goal from Angel di Maria was enough to secure a 1-0 victory against Brazil at Maracana and secure Argentina’s first Copa America title since 1993.
Messi was named player of the tournament after scoring four goals and laying on five assists in what was his 10th tournament appearance for his country.
The striker sunk to his knees at the final whistle before being mobbed by his ecstatic team-mates.
Speaking to reporters after the game a clearly emotional Messi attempted to comprehend the scale of his achievements.
“It’s crazy, the happiness the feeling is inexplicable. I knew that at some point it was going to happen,” he said.
“The objective was clear and we were able to be champions. The happiness is immense. Many times I have dreamed of this.
“I told Fideo (Di Maria) that today he was going to have his revenge and that’s how it was. I want to share this with those team-mates who were so close so many times and it was not given to them. This is also for them.
“I feel that God was saving this moment for me, against Brazil in the final and in his country. Great credit has to go to (coach) Lionel (Scaloni). He always wanted the best for the national team. He knew how to put together a winning team and he deserves your appreciation.
“I needed to get rid of the thorn of being able to achieve something with the national team, I had been very close for many years. I knew that at some point it was going to go wrong, it was going to happen and I think there is no better moment than this.”
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