Lionel Messi ended his wait for a first major international title as Argentina beat Brazil in the Copa America final in Rio’s Maracana stadium.
Messi, 34, finally claimed top-level honours with his country in his 10th major tournament – while Argentina won their first Copa America in 28 years.
Angel Di Maria proved the matchwinner, with his superb lob the only goal of the game.
Messi had a chance to sign off the win but slipped with the goal at his mercy.
Everton forward Richarlison had Brazil’s best chances, seeing an effort ruled out for offside and then stinging the fingers of keeper Emi Martinez, who also saved from Gabriel Barbosa, but the defending champions fell short in a disappointing performance.
It means Messi’s opposite number 10 and former Barcelona team-mate Neymar’s own personal pursuit of international success continues, having missed Brazil’s 2019 Copa win through injury.
The game was watched by a small crowd of 7,000 invited guests, because of Covid-19 restrictions, but was the first of the tournament to have spectators in attendance.
The sparse home supporters made their voices heard, though, particularly every time Messi touched the ball, booing and jeering the forward.
The tournament, delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and moved from initial co-hosts Colombia and Argentina, was switched to 2019 hosts Brazil in a last-minute decision which received criticism in light of a surge in coronavirus cases in the country.
More to follow.
|Figures provided by Stats Perform|
|Figures provided by Stats Perform|
- 4MontielBooked at 89mins
- 13RomeroSubstituted forPezzellaat 79′minutes
- 19OtamendiBooked at 81mins
- 11Di MaríaSubstituted forPalaciosat 79′minutes
- 7de PaulBooked at 68mins
- 5ParedesBooked at 33minsSubstituted forRodríguezat 54′minutes
- 20Lo CelsoBooked at 51minsSubstituted forTagliaficoat 63′minutes
- 22MartínezSubstituted forGonzálezat 79′minutes
- 4MarquinhosBooked at 82mins
- 3Thiago Silva
- 16Lodi dos SantosBooked at 70minsSubstituted forLeite de Souza Juniorat 76′minutes
- 17Tolentino Coelho de LimaBooked at 72minsSubstituted forBarbosa Almeidaat 76′minutes
- 8FredBooked at 3minsSubstituted forFirminoat 45′minutes
- 19Sousa SoaresSubstituted forVinícius Júniorat 63′minutes
- 6Lobo Silva
- 11de Barros Ribeiro
- 12Pereira da Silva
- 13Leite de Souza Junior
- 18Vinícius Júnior
- 21Barbosa Almeida
- 22Rech Ortiz
- 25Douglas Luiz
Match ends, Argentina 1, Brazil 0.
Second Half ends, Argentina 1, Brazil 0.
Foul by Casemiro (Brazil).
Marcos Acuña (Argentina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Rodrigo de Paul (Argentina) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Hand ball by Roberto Firmino (Brazil).
Gonzalo Montiel (Argentina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Guido Rodríguez.
Attempt blocked. Gabi (Brazil) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Vinícius Júnior (Brazil) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Gonzalo Montiel (Argentina).
Attempt missed. Thiago Silva (Brazil) header from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Nicolás Otamendi.
Hand ball by Rodrigo de Paul (Argentina).
Attempt missed. Danilo (Brazil) right footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Brazil. Conceded by Germán Pezzella.
Attempt blocked. Gabi (Brazil) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Vinícius Júnior.
Marquinhos (Brazil) is shown the yellow card.
Nicolás Otamendi (Argentina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Neymar (Brazil) wins a free kick in the attacking half.