Six time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi has called the international silverware he won with Argentina, his most difficult trophy of his career so far.
According to Messi, who now plays for PSG after two decades with Barca, Copa America glory with Argentina gave him “peace of mind” at international level.
Messi suffered final heartache at the 2014 World Cup and back-to-back Copa losses in 2015 and 2016 with Argentina.
At a point he feared that he wouldn’t win anything with Argentina but he captained Lionel Scaloni’s side to a memorable victory, and says he has had a truly successful career.
Messi speaking to ESPN said: “Everything I won was important and beautiful, but this was the most difficult because I went through many things. It was knock after knock.
“I finally had happy holidays from the first day to the last. Before I was bitter and now it was different from start to finish. My children sing Argentina songs all the time, they remember the final against Brazil and for me it’s spectacular to see how they enjoy that.”
He added: “I have peace of mind of having achieved the dream that has been denied to me so many times.
“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.”
Reacting to painful defeats of the past, Messi said: “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.
“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 [final] was different.”