Lionel Messi finally ended his wait for a first major international title as Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final at the Maracana stadium in Rio.
The 34-year-old was hoisted into the air by his joyous teammates after dropping to the ground in pure ecstasy, as he finally claimed top-level honours with his country in his 10th major tournament.
It also ended Argentina’s 28-year wait for Copa America joy as they celebrated at the home of their bitter rivals.
Angel di Maria proved the match winner with his superb lob, after collecting Rodrigo de Paul’s lofted pass.
Messi had a chance to sign off the win but slipped with the goal at his mercy, in what would have been the perfect finale for the Argentine captain.
Defending champions Brazil were disappointing, with their only chances of note coming when Richarlison and Gabriel Barbosa forced saves from Emi Martinez.
In a contrast of emotions, Messi’s opposite number 10 and former Barcelona team-mate Neymar sank to his knees in tears at the final whistle, as his own personal pursuit of international success continues, having missed Brazil’s 2019 Copa win through injury.
The pair, who played together at the Nou Camp between 2013 and 2017 before the Brazilian’s move to Paris St-Germain, embraced in a long-lasting hug while they waited for the trophy ceremony.