Argentina captain Lionel Messi has revealed that he has peace of mind after winning the Copa America after success had eluded him for so long on the international stage. Messi was voted the best player of the tournament after scoring four goals and providing five assists in the competition.
Messi left Barcelona for PSG on a free transfer in the summer as the Spanish club could not retain the Argentine due to their financial woes. The 34-year-old moved from the Blaugrana after scoring 672 goals, and providing 305 assists in 778 appearances across all competitions. The Argentine international left his boyhood club after helping the Spanish club win ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey cups, four Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups. The Argentina captain finally put his sorrows behind him as he won the 2021 Copa America winning his first major international trophy.
Messi suffered the agony of losing three consecutive finals in a three-year span between 2014 and 2016. Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup, and Chile handed them back-to-back defeats in the Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner went on to achieve glory with the Albiceleste as they lifted the Copa America after beating Brazil 1-0 in the finals at the Maracana stadium.
"Everything I won was important and beautiful, but this was the most difficult because I went through many things ... it was knock after knock. I have peace of mind of having achieved the dream that has been denied to me so many times. It was like a dream, a spectacular moment. I couldn't believe it had happened. I enjoy watching the images now more than at the time as I was in a daze. I didn't quite understand what was happening," Messi told ESPN.
"We tried to be champions before, we were the first ones to want to. It's very difficult to win a World Cup or a Copa America. At the time they didn't value what we did, they only put emphasis on the fact that we didn't achieve the aim. The important thing is to feel satisfied that you have given your all...luckily, the last time [final] was different."