Angel Di Maria reveals Lionel Messi's speech after Copa America defeat to Brazil
What's the story?
Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina winger Angel Di Maria has opened up on a speech given by Lionel Messi following his team's semi-final defeat to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America.
Di Maria made his international debut along with Lionel Messi in 2008 and had been part of two World Cup and three Copa America squads.
In case you didn't know...
The Albiceleste once again fell short of ending their 26-year trophy drought when they lost to arch-rivals Brazil in the last four of the Copa America this year. The joint record Copa America winners had reached the finals of the competition in the previous two editions, losing out to Chile on both the occasions.
The heart of the matter
In an interview with ESPN Argentina, Angel Di Maria spoke about how Lionel Messi left his teammates and himself in tears following their defeat to evntual champions Brazil in the 2019 Copa America.
Messi said some beautiful words when we were eliminated by Brazil. Messi told us he was proud of the team we had built. That we had not been together much as some had not been called up [to the senior team] before. Yet, it felt as though we had all been together for many years
He said that we had all rowed in the same direction from the first day. That he was very proud of the youngsters for their commitment to this jersey and if they were there and gave what they gave at the Copa America, it was because they more than deserved to be there
He further went onto say that he noticed a difference in Messi's demeanour at the tournament.
There was a lot of criticism that he didn't sing [the national anthem], that he didn't talk. This Copa America was different. He proved it.
What made me happier was to see how he spoke in front of the group, how he spoke to reporters, what he said. The important thing is that Leo is like this. I like this Messi
Lionel Messi is serving a three-month ban from international football following accusations by the Barcelona captain on corruption in the South American football governing body.
The forward is expected to return to international duty in November after the completion of his ban.