Messi: Media treated us like failures

World News

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has discussed the joys and sorrows of winning his first international trophy, as well as the Albiceleste's journey to finally claiming the Copa America after 28 years.

Following his national team's 2021 Copa America triumph in July, Messi has finally spoken at length about the experience of winning his first major title with Argentina and the pressure that came with the years of failed attempts to lay claim to that trophy.

The South American side had not won the continental tournament since 1993, with their barren trophy run including several Copa final defeats as well as their 2014 FIFA World Cup final loss to eventual winners Germany. 

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With Messi having led his nation to their long-awaited 15th Copa title after defeating Brazil 1-0 in the final in July, he has now opened up about finally getting his hands on a major trophy for his country, as well as the criticism he and his teammates had come in for prior to the tournament.

"I have peace of mind of having achieved the dream that has been denied to me so many times," he said in an interview with ESPN.

"It was like a dream, a spectacular moment. I couldn't believe it had happened. I enjoy watching the images now more than at the time as I was in a daze. I didn't quite understand what was happening.

"A part of the media treated us as failures, saying that we didn't feel the [responsibility] of wearing the jersey, that we shouldn't be in the national team.

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"We tried to be champions before, we were the first ones to want to. It's very difficult to win a World Cup or a Copa America.

"At the time they didn't value what we did, they only put emphasis on the fact that we didn't achieve the aim.

"The important thing is to feel satisfied that you have given your all... luckily, the last time [final] was different."

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