The Copa America has been concluded, with Argentina beating Brazil 1-0 in the final. Even though only one team can claim the trophy, the CONMEBOL has made the unprecedented decision to name two winners of the "Player of the Tournament" award. Unsurprisingly, the two recipients are Lionel Messi of Argentina and Neymar Jr. of Brazil.
The two bitter rivals faced off at the iconic Maracana stadium last Saturday, and the home team was visibly devastated to lose the title. Neymar was completely gutted, but he was seen sharing a lengthy emotional hug with the Argentina captain. The two players have remained friends since their time together at the FC Barcelona dressing room, and now they will also share the accolade between them.
This is the first time in history that CONMEBOL has decided to split the award between two players. The organisation released a statement saying: "It is not possible to choose only one player, because this competition has two best players. They demonstrated in each match their different qualities that make them players of integrity, with technical and tactical quality, for their intelligence with and without the ball, and their decision making, which is always decisive."
"Both are finalists with their national teams, they have performed at a high level, being key players in the goalscoring charts in this tournament," the statement read further.
"In addition, they are leaders in assists - the Argentine has five and the Brazilian has provided three - which demonstrates how decisive they have been on the pitch during this CONMEBOL Copa America 2021."
Messi and Neymar looked happy to share the award, as seen through photos of them having a laugh together after the final. The pair had a good relationship at Barcelona, and it is a well-known fact that Messi has been wanting the club the re-sign the Brazilian, but it never materialised.
Now, with Messi being a free agent, there is a possibility that they can be reunited, but it won't be at the Camp Nou. If Barcelona fails to sort out their financial crisis, Neymar's current club, Paris Saint-Germain, may just swoop in to sign Messi.