It would be an understatement to say that Lionel Messi was wholeheartedly invested in the penalty shootout against Colombia.
The Argentina captain is no stranger to the heartbreak of spot-kick failure as he previously starred in two decisive shoot-outs in the last three editions of Copa America. It was his miss in 2016 final that set the tone for Argentina’s loss to Chile on penalties for the second year running.
But it was a different Messi on display in Tuesday’s semi-final as the Barcelona forward went first for Argentina and emphatically slotted his penalty in the top corner leaving David Ospina no chance.
From then on, all he could do was to pray and cheer his team on.
And Messi did exactly that, as footage focusing on him during the penalty shoot-out has shown that he was fired up – a rarely seen side of the usually reclusive and shy superstar.
Y alguno en Argentina le seguirá llamando a Messi pechofrío…pic.twitter.com/zxtVvLQFT9— moisESPN (@moillorens) July 7, 2021
Messi celebrated every Colombian miss as he had just scored himself and even went on to taunt Yerry Mina after his miss.
The Argentina skipper will need to channel the same aggression again when they take on Neymar-led Brazil in the Copa America final on Sunday.