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Argentina 1-0 Brazil: Player ratings as Angel Di Maria's goal helps La Albiceleste become champions after 28 years | Copa America Final 2021 

Argentina beat holders Brazil to win first silverware since 1993!
Argentina beat holders Brazil to win first silverware since 1993!

Argentina ended their 28-year wait for an international trophy after beating defending champions Brazil 1-0 in the final of the Copa America 2021 at the Maracana.

Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the match as Lionel Messi finally lifted his first piece of silverware with La Albiceleste.

The Paris Saint-Germain star broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute with a lovely chipped effort over Ederson after latching onto an inch-perfect cross from Rodrigo De Paul.

Richarlison thought he'd equalized for Brazil early on in the second half. But he was deemed to be in an offside position early on in the phase, keeping the holders behind in the game.

They sure upped the ante late on, with Neymar creating a host of chances for his teammates. But it came to nothing, with Richarlison seeing another effort saved by the peerless Emiliano Martinez.

Argentina weathered the storm and ran out deserved winners, clinching their 15th Copa America title and a first since 1993. A night to remember for them and Messi's fans.

Here are the player ratings from the Copa America final between Brazil and Argentina:


Argentina Player Ratings

Joy for Messi at last!
Joy for Messi at last!

Emiliano Martinez - 7.5/10

Argentina's hero in the semi-finals, Martinez made quite a few excellent saves in the biggest game too. He did especially well to deny Gabriel Barbosa late on, protecting his side's lead. A clean sheet against a Brazil side which had scored 12 goals going into the finals - not bad.

Gonzalo Montiel - 8/10

His attacking output was minimal but Montiel more than made up for that with a fine defensive performance. He kept the likes of Renan Lodi and Vinicius Junior well to thwart any attempts from his flank. Four clearances and seven tackles - too good!

Cristian Romero - 8/10

Romero deserves credit for keeping Neymar at bay as he tracked the PSG star diligently and never let him spend too much time on the ball. The Atalanta man also attempted to get Argentina on the frontfoot offensively with a few excellent long balls.

Nicolas Otamendi - 8/10

In another colossal performance in defense, Otamendi made sure the crosses never reached the intended target, blocking them all expertly. But he also registered three interceptions and four tackles in the game. Massive, massive performance.

Marcos Acuna - 8/10

If Montiel kept Lodi at bay from the right, Acuna did the same with Richarlison on the left, frustrating the Evertonian with close man-marking and negating his threat significantly. The Argentina man even had time to drive forward and lay down a key pass.

Angel Di Maria - 8/10

He gave Argentina the lead with a sublime chip and continued to pose a threat in the second half too.

Rodrigo De Paul - 9/10

A sensational performance from De Paul who controlled the Copa final with his creativity on the ball, but also worked very hard off it too. Undoubtedly the man of the final.

Leandro Paredes - 6/10

A quiet first-half performance was highlighted by his rash challenge on Neymar which sent him into the referee's books. The Argentina international's withdrawal early on after the break was probably a tactical switch to avoid a sending off.

Giovani Lo Celso - 6.5/10

The next man to go off for Argentina, Lo Celso wasn't so anonymous per se, as his passing was exquisite and tried to link up with Messi at times too. But he was off the pace for most of the game and didn't make a single cross.

Lionel Messi - 7/10

Not the performance fans were hoping for but Messi was still key to keeping the ball moving and even took a few shots. The Argentina legend finally got his hands on a major international trophy too, so nothing else matters.

Lautaro Martinez - 6/10

Arguably his poorest game of the competition. The Inter Milan striker was no threat to Brazil whatsoever as their centre-back pairing of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos did an excellent job of cutting off his supply lines.


Substitutes

Nicolas Tagliafico - 5/10

He was on the field for almost half an hour, but laid just a single pass.

German Pezzella - 6/10

Pezzella didn't have enough time to truly express himself. He did, however, try to duel for the ball but to no avail.

Exequiel Palacios - 6/10

Palacios came on at roughly the same time as Pezzella and barely got a whiff of the ball.

Nicolas Gonzalez - 6/10

The third player to come on at the 79th minute, Gonzalez didn't complete any of his four passes but frustrated Brazil with three clearances.

Guido Rodriguez - 6/10

He replaced Paredes in the 54th minute but struggled to fully get involved.

Brazil Player Ratings

Brazil had more than twice the number of shots than Argentina but couldn't make it count
Brazil had more than twice the number of shots than Argentina but couldn't make it count

Ederson Moraes - 7.5/10

He was soundly beaten by Di Maria for the goal. But he gave a good account of himself in the second half, denying Messi one-on-one before keeping out De Paul's effort in the dying embers.

Danilo - 7/10

Danilo made an important headed clearance at the back post to clear Di Maria's incoming cross for Martinez and then blazed a desperate attempt over the bar. He was mostly solid at the back and gave a good account of himself in the title clash.

Marquinhos - 7.5/10

He distributed the ball excellently and looked to get Brazil on the frontfoot with six long balls. The skipper went into the books late on for a challenge on Otamendi.

Thiago Silva - 7/10

Silva came up against Messi several times and did well to deal with his runs. But he laid one awful back pass in the second half and also saw a headed attempt sail over the bar. An eventful game for the Chelsea star.

Renan Lodi - 6.5

He couldn't deal with De Paul's cross, allowing Di Maria to pounce on the opportunity and put Argentina in front. But attacking-wise, he gave Argentina a lot to think about.

Lucas Paqueta - 8/10

Vibrant, adventurous and decisive, Paqueta was arguably Brazil's chief attacking threat on a night where Neymar couldn't even get a sight of the goal. He split Argentina open several times with incredible throughballs and lifted excellent crosses for Richarlison and Lodi too.

Casemiro - 7.5/10

He was the key to ball progression whilst also giving the likes of Paqueta the license to drive forward. Also registered three tackles and two interceptions.

Fred - 6.5/10

Fred made an excellent ball recovery in the first half with a well-timed challenge to quell the attack down the right. But as he was booked - the Manchester United star was shown a yellow card as early as the third minute after clashing with Montiel - Tite hooked him off at the break.

Everton - 6/10

He struggled to get anything meaningful from the game, with Everton's most notable moment being a close-range effort closed down by Argentina towards the end of the opening stanza.

Neymar - 8/10

As mentioned earlier, Neymar never came close to scoring, but that doesn't mean he had a poor outing by any means. The PSG star was once again at the heart of everything good coming from Brazil attack-wise, laying several key passes and sublime crosses. Unfortunately that all amounted to nothing.

Richarlison - 7/10

A constant threat from the flanks and even thought he'd equalized for Brazil, only for an offside flag to chalk it off. He also saw another of his goalward attempts thwarted by Martinez.


Substitutes

Emerson Royal - 6/10

He very nearly gifted Argentina a second goal by giving the ball straight to De Paul in the dying moments.

Vinicius Junior - 7/10

The Real Madrid star troubled Montiel the whole time he was on the pitch, twisting and turning him inside out with quick movements and even drawing a foul.

Gabriel Barbosa - 7.5/10

A dangerous presence in the box, making two good attempts, one which needed a desperate block and the other saved brilliantly by Martinez.

Roberto Firmino - 6.5/10

Firmino came on for Fred at half-time and although he didn't offer much threat, the Liverpool star battled for the ball valiantly and was strong in the air too.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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