Lionel Messi’s long wait for a major trophy with Argentina has come to an end after his side defeated Brazil 1-0 to win the Copa America title in the final played at Maracana stadium.
Sports Intelligence Magazine looks at 5 Lessons learnt from the victory which saw Lionel Messi help his side break the 28-year-old major trophy jinx.
1. Football Is Not An Individual Sports but team sports :
Prior to winning the Copa America title, a lot of critics have argued that his inability to win a major trophy with Argentina is a sign of him being a failure. The final game which was played at Maracana actually proved that school of thought wrong. Messi was not even spectacular in that final against Brazil, but team-spirit made Argentina win. Compared with Neymar who practically carried the burden of Brazil on his shoulder and yet did not get the desired result. There are lots of players today who might have won the World Cup or other major trophies with their nations, yet must not be compared with Lionel Messi.
2. Patience, Persistence And God’s Will Is Key To Success
This is another major lesson learnt from the Argentine’s adventure with his country. Messi had reached four finals and failed to win a major trophy. He reached the final of Copa America 2007, FIFA World Cup 2014, Copa America 2015 and Copa America 2016. In all cases, it was frustrating to the Argentine star. In fact, he announced his resignation after one of the finals before appeals were made and he rescinded on his decision. If Messi had failed to rescind on his decision, he probably would not be a winner of the major title today. But its God’s will that he crown his efforts with a major title which has eventually come to him.
3. Being Focused And Avoiding Distractions Is Key
Prior to reaching the final of the Copa America 2021, one major distraction that could have affected Lionel Messi’s title race with Argentina was issues emanating from his expired contract with Barcelona. While his contract ended on June 30, 2021, Lione Messi insisted he does not want to talk about contract issues with Barcelona but wants to be focused with the Copa America. It made him more focused and it was in fact the first time the Argentine would enter the final of a major title without being in a club.
4. Appreciating Other Team mates motivates them
Lionel Messi made out time in this Copa America to appreciate his team mates. He specifically congratulated Argentina’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez who was spectacular in the tournament. The Aston Villa’s goalkeeper made three outstanding saves in the penalty shootout against Colombia in the semifinal, which made him become the saviour off the side. His performance in the semifinal clearly makes him one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Receiving lots of compliment Messi was enough to make him do more.
5. Home Advantage Does Not Exist
The fact that Argentina was going to play in the final with Brazil at the popular Maracana Stadium was enough to put fear into the Argentines. But they were calm and mapped out strategies, seeing the Maracana stadium as one of those pitches where they would play and win particularly as it was on the same pitch they lost to Germany by 1-0 in the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. For the Argentines, there was nothing like “Home Advantage: and it was just time to play and win irrespective of the crowd that gathered at the stadium. The last time they won against Brazil was in 200