One of the longest streaks of frustration in world football has ended, as Argentina knocked off Brazil 1-0 in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium. The consequences of the match couldn’t be higher, and for Lionel Messi it is finally redemption for a lifetime of international failures while in the blue and white.
In the 22nd minute, La Albiceleste’s Angel di Maria opened the account with a clinical finish on this sublime long ball from Rodrigo de Paul.
With the win, Lionel Messi has the one thing that has eluded him his entire senior career: A major trophy for Argentina. He had four goals in the tournament, and the current free agent can now add a capstone to one of the best careers in football history.
For Brazil, it’s more of the same in major tournaments at home. They lost 8-2 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinal in what was no less than a national embarrassment. They also lost the 1950 World Cup Final in the same stadium 1-0 to Uruguay.
Many questions will be asked of the Neymar and the Canarinho after yet another failure in a major tournament. Despite not scoring, including a flubbed chance near extra time that should have made it 2-0, Messi had four goals in the tournament.