Lionel Messi Amazed As Argentina Returns To Copa América Final

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Lionel Messi said he was left in awe after Argentina and some of its remaining “old guard” defeated Canada 2-0 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to qualify for the 2024 Copa América final.

After Julián Álvarez’s first-half goal gave Argentina the lead, Messi doubled it in the second half with his first Copa goal of the year and his 14th goal overall.

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“What this team has done, what the Argentina national team has done, because after this everyone gives more importance to all the finals that me and the ‘older guys’ have played,” Messi said after the match. “Me, Fide [Ángel Di María], Ota [Nicolás Otamendi] and that Argentina can play another final is amazing.

“To be honest, it has been a difficult tournament, the level has been as equal as ever, very bad surfaces, high temperatures that make it hard to play, very tough rivals. So, the fact we made it and we are here again playing a final is something to enjoy and highlight.”

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After participating in the 2021 event, La Albiceleste is making a comeback to the championship game. They are in the running to win the nation’s 16th Copa América, which would put them ahead of Uruguay for all time.

Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni expressed excitement over reaching this point of the competition, before warning of the difficulties that lie ahead for his squad.

“It’s something to be proud of and grateful to the players for,” Scaloni said. “Yesterday, a colleague asked me if we normalize this, but the question was good and I wasn’t clear. It’s super difficult to be in a final, especially coming in the way we did with previous success and triumph. It’s double as hard.

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“The ones on the inside know how difficult it is to reach this point. It’s a sensation of happiness but also worry, because it costs more.”

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PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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