Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, has admitted that he has “peace of mind” after winning the Copa America.
The trophy was his first major triumph with the national team following past disappointments.
Messi went into the tournament after four failed attempts for Argentina in finals.
However, the Albiceleste lifted the Copa America after a 1-0 win over Brazil at the Maracana stadium on July 11.
Before the success at the Maracana, Messi had lost three consecutive finals in a three-year span: a 1-0 defeat to Germany at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, before they were beaten by Chile in the Copa America finals in 2015 and 2016.
“I have peace of mind of having achieved the dream that has been denied to me so many times,” Messi told ESPN while on international duty.
“It was like a dream, a spectacular moment. I couldn’t believe it had happened. I enjoy watching the images now more than at the time as I was in a daze. I didn’t quite understand what was happening.”
Asked about how he felt following the defeats, Messi added: “A part of the media treated us as failures, saying that we didn’t feel the [responsibility] of wearing the jersey, that we shouldn’t be in the national team.
“We tried to be champions before, we were the first ones to want to. It’s very difficult to win a World Cup or a Copa America. At the time they didn’t value what we did, they only put emphasis on the fact that we didn’t achieve the aim. The important thing is to feel satisfied that you have given your all…luckily, the last time [final] was different.”