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SPORTS | 11-07-2021 11:57

Delighted Di María reveals what Messi told him before the Copa América final

Argentina's winning goalscorer reflects on famous Copa América title win against Brazil in the Maracanã.

Ángel Di María, Argentina's winning goalscorer in last Saturday's Copa América final against Brazil, has hailed his teammates and their commitment in winning the trophy.

"We dreamed a lot, we fought a lot, a lot of people criticised us, asked us to leave, but we kept hitting the wall until it broke and entered," said 'Fideo,' who was chosen as the final’s MVP at Maracanã stadium.

"Beating Brazil, beating them here, we came and it was already foretold, we had to win here," added the 33-year-old from Rosario.

Quizzed about his winning strike, Di María highlighted Rodrigo De Paul's accurate long pass of more than 30 metres, and revealed the premonition that his close friend Lionel Messi shared with him in the previous match.

"Before the game I had told Rodri that the full-back fell asleep a bit on the marking – the pass was perfect, I controlled it and it ended up like against Nigeria in the Olympics," he said, recalling another famous strike.

The match was something of a personal triumph for the Paris St Germain star, who has missed out on Argentina's last three finals due to injury, a fact captain Lionel Messi reminded of him about prior to the match.

"Messi told me that I was going to do it, that the final was mine. 'This is the rematch for those you couldn't play,' he told me. And today it happened, I was there. All this makes me wonder, what would have happened if I were there in the previous ones? But football is like that, it had to be today and that's how it was."

Finally, Di María recognised everyone who contributed to his title win: "Joy for my family, for my wife, for all those who funded us, for all the people who came to the game with Covid, without Covid, with all the quilombo, now we have the joy and the momentum to keep on, because the World Cup is coming very soon.”

– TIMES/NA

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