Lionel Messi lastly ticked the last empty box in his glittering soccer career on Saturday night, leading Argentina past host Brazil, 1-0, in the last of the Copa América in Rio de Janeiro.The trophy was Messis first with Argentina after a string of unpleasant, painful, maddening failures, including possibly the most demoralizing defeat of his profession– versus Germany worldwide Cup last– inside the same arena, Rios hulking Maracanã, in 2014. Messi– his relief palpable– dropped to his knees and was immediately surrounded by his colleagues when the whistle blew to end the final. Moments later, they were raising him above their shoulders and tossing him in the air.In more than a decade at the top of his sport, Messi, 34, had actually won nearly every soccer honor imaginable with his Spanish club team, Barcelona: every award, every accolade, every championship, trophy.and and cup year after uncomfortable year, he had actually failed to win a thing with Argentina.Until Saturday.His good friend Ángel Di María delivered the prize at last, putting Argentina ahead in the 22nd minute after coolly gathering a long cross-field pass to the extreme right from the deep-lying midfielder Rodrigo De Paul. Managing the ball on the bounce with a single deft touch with his left foot after it avoided past the Brazil left back Renan Lodi, Di María then settled himself and– lifting the ball with the very same foot rising off its next bounce– sent a shot over Brazils goalkeeper, Ederson, that landed softly in the back of Brazils net.As Messi and the rest of Argentinas group raced to commemorate with Di María, the Brazilians stood, stunned. The objective was just the 3rd they had actually allowed the tournament.Messi had actually carried Argentina over the last month in Brazil as he chased after the type of trophy he had actually coveted for so long. He led the Copa América in scoring this summer season, with 4 goals and five helps, however he had actually done that before, too, and after that fallen short of supreme victory.The sting of duplicated failures– at the World Cup in 2014, and in the Copa América final in 2015 and once again in 2016– had seen Messi retire from the national team a minimum of two times. However both times he had relented, and returned, to chase after that very first senior title. This month, Argentinas gamers had actually made it their mission to deliver it.”Messi is one step ahead of everyone,” De Paul had stated before the semifinals. “We are all on the very same course. What matters is to win.”Saturdays game was the feisty, intense affair everybody had expected from the two greatest powers in South America; a six-inch piece of the Brazilian star Neymars shorts was torn away in the first half, and Messi dived in with an uncommon scissoring sideline tackle at one point.Chasing the video game, Brazil sent on a wave of opponents after halftime: Roberto Firmino began at the break and was followed, later, by Vinicius Júnior and Gabriel Barbosa as Brazil pushed for the tying goal.Richarlison thought he had actually tied ball game in the 52nd minute when he worked on to a lead ball from Lucas Paqueta and slotted house a low shot. However replays showed that he had broken a split-second early, and the goal was prohibited for offside.Two minutes later on he remained in again, onside this time, however his shot was stopped at close range and brushed aside by Argentinas goalkeeper, Emiliano Martínez.The possibilities kept coming, on both sides– even Messi amazingly blew an one-on-one in the goal mouth late in the game– but as the minutes ticked away, and as the deals with got rougher and the dives and the pleas for nasty calls more emphatic, ball game did not change.Messi was, at last, a champion in Argentinas white and blue.