20:25 GMT25 July 2021
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    Despite winning a record 34 trophies with Barcelona, Messi is still searching for his maiden international title. The 34-year-old will now look to win his first tournament with Argentina at the Copa America in Rio de Janeiro. The Argentines will face Neymar's Brazil in Saturday's final.

    Argentina captain Lionel Messi has once again proved why he is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. After all, nobody has ever questioned his dedication to the sport.

    The Barcelona talisman once again delivered for his national team in the Copa America semifinal against Colombia, leading them to victory in a penalty shootout despite battling pain in his ankle.

    After a brutal Frank Fabra tackle, the Barca star suffered an injury to his left ankle, which immediately started bleeding. But this didn't stop him from performing in the contest.

    The last-four battle against Colombia was regarded as huge for Messi and Argentina, considering they lost the last two Copa America finals to Chile in penalty shootouts.

    Messi started the game in a scintillating fashion, as he provided Lautaro Martinez a much-needed assist, giving Argentina the lead with his superb strike in the seventh minute.

    However, somehow Messi's team couldn't press on the accelerator and their poor show, particularly in the second half, resulted in Colombia equalising in the 61st minute with the help of Luis Diaz's goal.

    Messi, though, came to Argentina's rescue yet again, as he made no mistake while scoring a goal in the penalty shootout. It ultimately powered his side to a 3-2 win in penalties in the semis.

    His determination, commitment, and brave effort kept Twitter buzzing, with fans praising the Argentine captain for his decision to continue playing with an injured ankle.

    ​Former Indian footballer Mehtab Hossain also lauded Messi for leading his side to the Copa America final.

    "Messi's presence in the middle was extremely important for Argentina, otherwise they would have been out of the tournament by now", Hossain told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "Despite being injured, he made a bold decision to stay on the ground because he realised his team needed his experience, and he was right in the end as Argentina succeeded in winning the match", he added.

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