Lionel Messi played entire Copa America final with INJURY, reveals Argentina manager after historic win over Brazil

LIONEL MESSI fought through the pain barrier to finally win a trophy with Argentina.

Angel Di Maria was the hero on Saturday night as his goal saw Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final.

But Messi, as ever, was Argentina's main man in the competition, with four goals and five assists in seven games.

There were emotional scenes at the final whistle as Messi got his hands on some silverware and was hoisted aloft by his team-mates.

And it had been a rocky road to achieve this success.

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni revealed that the 34-year-old had been suffering with 'hamstring problems' in the tournament.

He explained: “If you knew the way that he played in the Copa America you’d love him even more.

“You can never do without a player like him, even when he is not fully fit like in this game and the previous one.”

Messi missed a sitter to wrap up the Copa America final for Argentina when he failed to convert from close range in the 88th minute.

But his blushes were eventually spared as Argentina held on to win the game, triumphing in the tournament for the first time since 1993.

The victory was Messi's first major tournament triumph with his country.


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And although Messi was thrilled with the outcome and celebrated by being thrown into the air by his team-mates, he still found time to console Neymar.

The pair embraced surrounded by players, media and officials before Messi went to lift the trophy.

Afterwards, Messi sat with his former Barcelona teammate with his winners' medal around his neck.

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And he was able to cheer up Neymar, cracking a joke which had the Brazilian laughing.

Messi had previously lost three Copa America finals with Argentina in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

The Barcelona legend also reached the final of the World Cup in 2014, only for his side to be beaten 1-0 by Germany after extra time.

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