Brazil’s Neymar reacts after losing the Conmebol 2021 Copa America football tournament final match against Argentina at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 10, 2021.
MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP
Neymar broke down in tears after Argentina defeated his team, Brazil, a 1-0 win in the Copa America final on Sunday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium.
With the victory, Argentina ended a 28-year wait for a major trophy, and also ended Brazil’s unbeaten home record that stretched back more than 2,500 days.
Messi’s Argentina won the Copa for the first time since 1993, while injury meant Neymar was not part of the Brazil squad which triumphed in 2019.
Neymar failed to lead Brazil to their 10th Copa title, while Argentina added to their 14 continental crowns.
Argentina have won six games in a row, including their semi-final victory over Colombia, and are unbeaten across their past 20 games.
Before the final, Brazil were undefeated in their past 13 games and have only conceded two goals at Copa America 2021.
Argentina edged a brutal and fractious affair thanks to Di Maria’s goal on 22 minutes. The 33-year-old winger ran onto Rodrigo De Paul’s sumptuous through ball to lob Brazil goalkeeper Ederson with a first time finish.
After breaking down in tears, Neymar was consoled by his teammates and members of the Brazil crew at the full-time whistle but still wept profusely.
He lifted his shirt to cover his face as joyous Argentinian players celebrated in front of the small number of supporters that were allowed into the Maracana stadium to watch the game.
However, Messi and Neymar shared an emotional moment after the match as the PSG star and his friend had a warm embrace, concluded with a handshake.
In a physical encounter, Brazil superstar Neymar received plenty of attention while Messi was unable to exude his normal influence for La Albiceleste.
Brazil started the better but could only manage scuffed efforts on goal from Everton and Richarlison before Argentina struck against the run of play.