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Neymar pays emotional tribute to ‘friend and brother’ Messi

Neymar & Lionel Messi - Argentina vs Brazil: Copa America 2021 final
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An action-packed evening at Marcana saw two buddies turn into adversaries, with initial relationship quickly reinstated after 90 minutes.

Neymar has paid an emotional tribute to “friend and brother” Lionel Messi after the Copa America 2021 final between Brazil and Argentina.

Argentina and Brazil went toe-to-toe with each other on Sunday with the most prestigious prize in South American international football at stake.

It was the former who ultimately came out on top after a brutal and eventful clash, with a sole goal from Angel Di Maria separating them from their fierce rivals after the full-time whistle.

The 1-0 victory marked Albiceleste’s 28-year wait for a major trophy finally ending while it also saw their legendary captain pick up his first-ever title at the international stage.

While it was unquestionably a disappointing evening for his side, the Brazil captain did not let that stop him from congratulating and embracing his former FC Barcelona teammate.

Neymar wrote in an Instagram post: “Losing hurts me and it’s something I still haven’t learned to live with.

“Yesterday, when I lost, I went to give a hug to the greatest and best I have ever seen play in football history, my friend and brother Messi. I was sad and I joked to him ‘you son of a bitch, you’ve beaten me!’

“I’m very sad to have lost, but this guy is awesome! I have great respect for what he has done for football and especially for me.

“I hate to lose! But enjoy your title. Football was waiting for you for that moment! Congratulations brother.”