Angel Di Maria scored the lone goal as Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 at the Maracana Stadium to win the Copa America, their first major title in 28 years.
Di Maria, who was starting his second game of the tournament, repaid coach Lionel Scaloni's faith with the only goal of the match midway through the first half after a neat long ball from Rodrigo De Paul.
Brazil piled pressure and even played with five strikers at some point, but could not find a way back as they failed to defend their title.
It was also Lionel Messi's first title with the Argentine national team, in what might be his last tournament with the team.
The Barcelona forward finished the tournament as the joint top scorer with four goals and was elected joint-best player along with Neymar.
Scaloni, speaking after the game, revealed Messi played the final while carrying an injury, and was full of praise for his team's resilience.
"This is a very big title," he said. "I hope that Argentines can enjoy it. The fans love the team unconditionally and I think they identify with this side that never drops its guard,"
Argentines flocked the streets to celebrate the sweet win, especially since they beat their biggest rivals at their own grounds.
Argentina has been waiting 28 years for this 🥳 pic.twitter.com/M7eBlcwXUG— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 11, 2021
Messi was also full of praise for the current crop of young players, calling them 'the future of their team'.
"We have to take advantage of this, of this new pack. I told them that they were going to be the future of the national team and I wasn't wrong. They showed that and today we are champions,"
Meanwhile, Colombia beat Peru 3-2 to finish third. Luis Díaz, Colombia’s star man, scored twice for Reinaldo Rueda‘s side while captain Juan Cuadrado also found the net.
Yoshimar Yotún and Gianluca Lapadula got the goals for Ricardo Gareca’s team, who finished in fourth place.