Leo Messi finally won the Copa America trophy with Argentina after losing three finals in the past. His picture with the cup after the game earned him another record: the most-liked Instagram picture ever posted on the platform.
Messi had to wait until he turned 34 to earn his first major piece of silverware at the national team level. His success in the South American final tournament is expected to put him out front in the race for the Ballon d’Or, with rivals Mbappe, Lewandowski, and Kante all left behind.
Argentina’s win at Copa America helped Messi set a historic milestone on Instagram too; he broke a record that previously belonged to long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi’s picture with the Cup in the Argentinean locker room at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro earned him well over 21 million likes.
“What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions,” Messi wrote next to the picture.
Ronaldo set the previous record on the social network with his tribute to Diego Maradona after the star’s death in 2020. His post from November 2020 is now at almost 20 million likes.
Angel Di Maria scored the only goal in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Brazil in the final. Messi’s prominent performance throughout the competition earned him the player of the tournament award. Messi scored four goals and assisted another five, also leading the numbers when it comes to dribbles, the number of chances created, and the number of shots. The Barcelona superstar lost three Copa America finals, as well as a World Cup final in 2014 before his golden night in Rio on July 11.
¡El continente a sus pies! @Argentina levantando en andas a su líder y figura 🔟🇦🇷
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 11, 2021
Messi is currently at -250 for a Ballon d’Or triumph, with Lewandowski at +600 and Ronaldo at +800. Harry Kane is at +900, with N’Golo Kante far away at +1600, the same odds as Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne. Jorginho, the midfielder who won Euro 2020 with Italy and the Champions League with Chelsea, is at +1400.