Last year, Lionel Messi silenced his doubters by guiding Argentina to Copa America glory.
One criticism aimed at the little genius throughout his career was the fact that he never tasted success on the international stage.
Prior to Argentina’s first triumph since 1993, Messi had lost a World Cup final to Germany and two Copa America finals against Chile, both those defeats to the South American nation coming on penalties.
But the Paris Saint-Germain superstar finally lifted international silverware in the summer of 2021 and he was absolutely electric throughout the team’s campaign.
Messi contributed to nine of Argentina’s 13 goals (4 goals, 5 assists) and was rightly presented with the coveted Golden Ball award after the 1-0 final victory over Brazil, where Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the game.
And in the team’s semi-final success over Colombia, the 35-year-old proved that he’s a different animal when proudly wearing his country’s jersey.
The crunch game between the two South American giants – which was sadly played behind-closed-doors due to Covid-19 restrictions – went to a penalties after Luis Diaz cancelled out Lautaro Martinez’s early opener, which was assisted by Messi.
Argentina eventually prevailed 3-2 in the shootout, with Aston Villa‘s Emiliano Martinez saving three spot kicks.
One of those saves came against Everton defender Yerry Mina and straight after the Colombian was denied, Messi showed he has a real savage side.
Video: Messi’s reaction to Mina’s missed penalty
“HOW ABOUT DANCING NOW?” yells Leo Messi to Yerry Mina after his penalty kick is saved by Dibu Martínez. This is the Messi all of Argentina wants to see. Fired up and in it ❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/0mFXzVdru5— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) July 7, 2021
MESSI SCREAMING 'DANCE NOW' AFTER YERI MINA's MISS 😂😂😂😂pic.twitter.com/P8120ApG7J— Messi Worldwide (@Messi_Worldwide) July 7, 2021
It’s rare you see Messi that fired up on a football field. He really was a man possessed during the 2021 Copa America and it was incredibly entertaining to watch.
So why was he so eager to rub salt in Mina’s wounds? Well, in the previous round when Colombia beat Uruguay on penalties, the defender produced a very flashy celebration after scoring his spot kick.
Video: Mina’s celebration vs Uruguay
Amazingly, Mina’s penalty wasn’t even the one that booked Colombia’s place in the semi-final!
Messi was clearly not happy with the overzealous celebration and as it came against his close friend Luis Suarez, he was almost certainly out for revenge.