The genie drops to his knees on the grass, covers his face and cries. This time, finally, they are not tears of sadness. This time it is the cry of the champion. It is the last image of the greatest final, the most dreamed of, the one that is worth almost like a World Cup, against Brazil and in the Maracana. It is the final that ends and crowns an act of justice with that number 10 that immediately remains under a blue and white mountain. It is that all his companions the first thing they do is run to hug him. This fantastic game couldn’t afford to Messi, the best, do not be champion with your selection. They are there Leo Y Argentina, united in a celebration for memory.
TO Messi the other sky blue and white players lift it up and launch it into the sky over and over again. Afterwards, Leo embraces everyone one by one with a unique strength and smile. Hug Draw Martinez, the hero of penalties against Colombia, the goalkeeper of the two champion saves against Brazil… Hug From Paul, the megafigure of the final on the entire court, the assistant, the runner, the heart, the game. How much is it worth now Rodrigo? … Hug Fideo Say Maria, the one with the magic run, like Burruchaga in the final of Mexico 86, as Caniggia in Italy 90 against Brazil … Embrace this Lionel to the other Lionel, to Scaloni, to the DT without experience who had mettle and driving, and both cry … AND Messi, great as he is, of course, he embraces his friend, the rival, the heartbroken Neymar…
Until that special moment arrives. There goes the America Cup at the hands of that magical captain. There he raises her Messi. Argentina, champion after 28 years. Leo champion, light blue and white for the first time. It’s yours Leo. Go if this moment corresponded to you, this joy.
The final was very South American, too thoughtful to cut spaces for the adversary, stuck, with dosed emotions. Also with teams determined to make physical rigor felt, with multiplied friction: an early riser from Fred against Montiel, a hit of Otamendi which caused a hole in a stocking to Packet, the torn pants of Neymar, a sweep of Walls against the Brazilian 10 who shot the yellow of the Argentine 5 …
Of fantasies and actions that captivate and approach the goal, almost nothing interesting happened. Just a ball that Richarlison went down for the front entrance of Neymar, frustrated by a good closing of Cuti Rosemary, that key defender that Argentina missed and that despite his injury asked him to be at Scaloni.
So much muscle and nerve had to Messi he looked to squeeze Casemiro near the Argentine area or by going to the floor to recover. From Leo in offensive mode only a run and a forced and deflected shot.
However, suddenly, at minute 21, From Paul He came out playing freely, without Brazilian pressure. Nobody imagined that something interesting could happen, but the next Atlético de Madrid footballer saw that Say Maria He marked the long pass and he threw it right, behind the back of Renan Lodi. Fideo accelerated, was hand in hand with Ederson and stung her from above. A sensual definition, with class of crack.
It was a light blue and white explosion in the middle of a turbulent, stormy classic. Until then Argentina had not kicked the goal and had not stepped on the Brazilian area. Di María made the difference, one of the five changes introduced by Scaloni regarding the semifinal.
Tite shook the team for the second half: Firmino for Fred Y Brazil quickly hinted. Richarlison He hit a definition, but the goal was disallowed correctly: he was in an advanced position. Richarlison himself blew up Draw Martinez.
Answered well Scaloni with the changes. Before those two situations, he put Guido Rodríguez, Betis’s “5”, for the admonished Paredes. Later, he took out Lo Celso, with a very recent yellow for a foul Neymar, and included Tagliaphic, who was located on the side, passing Acuña a few meters ahead. The Argentine 4-4-2 acquired features more apt for containment.
Brazil seemed to depend on Neymar, who, without reaching his ideal version, still continued to generate infractions and warnings: From Paul joined Walls Y The Celso, and ten minutes from the end they were added Otamendi with a merciless blow.
Argentina beat with the match of the fight and the resistance, without finding any counter-attack response to squeeze with Messi. Even if Tite I would move the bank again and bet on Vinicius, Emerson Y GabigolBrazil did not find clarity and was trapped by impotence in this context of maximum tension.
The end was crazy. Draw Martinez drew the tie to Gabigol. He had Messi to liquidate him after a counter that he initiated and a pass from From Paul, but slipped in front of Ederson. And the Brazilian goalkeeper returned to respond against From Paul. There was no room for more. Argentina, champion of America. Messi, champion of America. Football paid all its debts to the genius.
Argentina: Martinez; Montiel, Romero (Pezzella, 78 ‘), Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Paredes (Guido Rodríguez, 53 ‘), Lo Celso (Tagliafico, 63’); Di María (Exequiel Palacios, 78 ‘), Messi and Lautaro (Nico González, 78’)
Trainer: Lionel scaloni
Brazil: Ederson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Lodi (Emerson, 75 ‘); Casemiro, Lucas Paquetá (Gabigol, 75 ‘), Fred (Firmino, 46’); Everton (Vinicius, 63 ‘), Richarlison and Neymar
Goal: 1-0, Di María (22 ‘).
Spectators: 7,200 in Maracanã
Referee: Ostojich (Uruguay). TA to Fred (2 ‘), Paredes (32’), Lo Celso (50 ‘), De Paul (67’), Lodi (69 ‘), Paquetá (72’), Otamendi (80 ‘) and Montiel (89’ )