Lionel Messi has led his team to another Copa América final after prevailing over Colombia on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
The FC Barcelona star and Argentine captain assisted Lautaro Martínez’s opening goal although Colombia would later bring the score level. After 90 minutes, the match went to penalties.
Messi went first for the Argentines after Colombia scored their opening penalty. Many were remembering his miss in the last Copa América final, but Messi shrugged that off and buried his shot.
We can watch what Messi was doing during the important moments of the shootout thanks to a camera focused solely on him.
Look at Messi man. Puts away his penalty. Then when De Paul misses he's the one that comforts him. And after every goal or save he's motivating the team. And that taunt against Mina... haha. Brutal.https://t.co/i4fxh5vLm1— Luis Mazariegos (@luism8989) July 7, 2021
After Emiliano Martínez’s first save, Messi is seen celebrating with both hands balled up in fists.
“It’s contagious, the hunger he has for winning this cup,” an Argentine commentator can be heard saying.
Rodrigo De Paul would waste Argentina’s momentum, however, missing his shot. Messi winces, but when the midfielder comes back from his unsuccessful attempt, Messi is there to comfort him. He’s the only Argentine to really take the moment to console him.
Next comes Yerry Mina’s penalty. Martínez is trash talking him as the Colombian prepares to shoot. Mina has a history with both Messi and Martínez. He was part of FC Barcelona for a few months and played a handful of games with Messi. And he is the one who injured Martínez before the tournament started, in a 2-2 draw in which the goalkeeper had to exit the match.
Mina turned heads during Colombia’s winning shootout with Uruguay. After scoring, he put his thumb in his mouth and proceeded to dance. A celebration such as that is unusual during the middle of a shootout.
Once again Martínez makes the save, sending Messi into wild celebrations. Then, he starts yelling a pointed taunt aimed at Mina: “dance now!”
We see Messi react to Leandro Paredes’s successful penalty, and he’s the first to congratulate his teammate after he scores. He doesn’t react much to Colombia’s ensuing successful shot, but he celebrates Lautaro Martínez’s reply.
“Messi is clearly the one who yells the most after every penalty,” the Argentine commentator notes.
We then see his reaction to his goalkeeper’s latest save, which seals the win for the albiceleste. They rush towards their goalkeeper to congratulate him for his heroics. Then we see Emi Martínez teary eyed, hugging Messi and Guido Rodríguez. He starts asking for the whole team to come towards him. They make a big circle and start chanting an Argentine soccer chant.
Messi is the tournament’s top scorer and also its top assist provider.