Lionel Messi may not have the most amount of followers on Instagram, however, after his Copa America win, his picture garnered the most amount of likes, related to sports, on the social media platform. His picture with the coveted Copa America trophy, became the most liked sports photo on Instagram, beating out Cristiano Ronaldo who previously held that record.
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The 2021 Copa America could have been Messi’s final run in the competition. The player is already 34 years old and the next time the tournament comes around, he will be 38. This meant that Messi had to win the tournament this time. He already reached the finals of the tournament three times before however, he could never overcome the other team. It seemed as if Messi was destined to finish his career without an international trophy.
Thus, the stakes were high this year, and from game number one, we could see the determination in Messi’s eyes. The Argentine was sure that he would win the trophy this time of asking, and he ended the tournament victorious. Not only did he win the trophy, he did so in quite a style. He won the Player of the Tournament award, as well as the Golden Boot award. Messi put his heart and soul into this tournament and rewarded the Argentine fans with their first trophy in 28 years.
He later put a picture of himself, embracing the trophy in the locker room. The caption below the picture read,
"“What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions!”"
This picture went on to garner more than 20 million likes on Instagram, beating out the record of 19.9 million likes set by Ronaldo. The Portuguese superstar posted a tribute to Maradona after the Argentine legend passed away last year, and that was the Sports world’s most liked picture on Insta, before Messi broke it.
Although Messi is not too keen on social media and keeps a minimum presence on them, the amount of likes goes on to show just how much everyone wanted the legend to win an international trophy. Even the people who do not support the Argentine, were happy to see him win his first international trophy, and this remarkable win, really brought the footballing world together.
Which according to you is the most iconic picture in football history?