An insight into the content of the conversation held by Lionel Messi and Neymar, on the back of the Copa America showpiece, has been forthcoming on Friday.
Di Maria decides it
Last weekend of course saw South America’s two biggest football nations go head-to-head, in the Copa finale.
Messi’s Argentina, underdogs in the eyes of most, headed into proceedings aiming to bring an end to a long and heartbreaking wait for silverware, having remarkably not managed to secure the Copa America since all the way back in 1993.
When all was said and done at the Maracana, though, clinch the country’s first title in almost three decades is precisely what the Albiceleste managed.
A cagey, hard fought spectacle eventually saw a solitary goal separate the nations come the full-time whistle.
After Rodrigo De Paul’s lofted through ball somehow made its way to the feet of Angel Di Maria just beyond the 20-minute mark, the PSG wide-man did superbly to control, before lofting a clever finish over the head of the onrushing Ederson:
¡¡¡EL GRITO DE TODO UN PAÍS!!! 🇦🇷 🤩🥳
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 11, 2021
‘Not about the final’
The days since the Rio showdown have understandably seen the vast majority of the post-match chatter center on Argentina’s captain and talisman, with Messi, after a quartet of final defeats, having finally secured the international title which had eluded him throughout his legendary career.
One man who appeared particularly keen to congratulate the 34-year-old on his achievement, meanwhile, was Neymar.
Brazil’s star man shone throughout the action at the Maracana, taking the weight of the Selecao’s attack almost entirely on his own shoulders, only to be denied by a robust (to put it lightly) Argentine backline.
Despite his own disappointment following the full-time whistle, though, Neymar made sure to seek out long-time friend Messi in the game’s aftermath, giving rise to a series of wonderful photos:
Neymar with Lionel Messi after he won the #CopaAmerica with Argentina 🤝
Nothing but respect between two of the greatest to play our beautiful game ❤️ pic.twitter.com/DvE4JYDJZe
— Goal (@goal) July 11, 2021
The extent of the discussions held by the ex-Barcelona teammates last Saturday, however, inevitably sparked speculation in the media surrounding Messi’s future, and the possibility of reuniting with Neymar in Paris.
This comes with the 6-time Ballon d’Or winner technically a free agent, following the expiration of his contract at the Camp Nou.
But, as outlined above, this afternoon, an insight into the content of the conversation held by the pair has been forthcoming.
The info comes courtesy of Leandro Paredes, a teammate of both players (Argentina and PSG), who has confirmed that Messi and Neymar were in fact simply catching up on life, family and matters away from the pitch:
‘We were not talking about the final.’
‘We talked about how we were doing, how the family was doing, what we were going to do on vacation and what we had done in these 45 days. It was more of something else than the final itself.’
‘With that you realise the kind of people the two (Messi and Neymar) are. Beyond being stars, they have the humility to sit down after such an important final and talk about other things.’
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) July 16, 2021