Former Indian cricketer and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar took to his official Instagram profile to congratulate Lionel Messi and Argentina for lifting the 2021 Copa America title.
Argentina won their first major title in 28 years (the last also being the Copa America in 1993). This was also Lionel Messi's first senior international trophy, and he achieved the feat 16 years after making his debut for Argentina.
Tendulkar wrote, "Heartiest congratulations to @afaseleccion on winning the #copaamerica2021. It is a historic win for all the Argentinians, and is an icing on the cake for @leomessi who has had such a stellar career. Continue inspiring," Tendulkar wrote.
The 48-year-old also had a motivational message for runners-up Brazil, who had to endure a final defeat at their own turf.
"The pain of losing a final is understandable. But this is just a bend in the road, not end of the road for @neymarjr & @cbf_futebol. They’ll bounce back stronger and do themselves proud," wrote Tendulkar.
Incidentally, there are some similarities between Tendulkar and Messi in terms of their career arc. Tendulkar was highly regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, holding records for most runs in Tests and ODIs. However, he had to wait for 22 years since his debut to lift the coveted ODI World Cup trophy.
He won the 2011 World Cup at his home ground in Mumbai.
Similarly, Messi is widely known as one of the best footballers to play the sport and also currently holds the record for most Ballon d'Or awards (6), and is a strong contender for this year's award as well. Having won all of the club titles with Barcelona, Messi only needed a senior international trophy to complete his enviable cabinet.
While the World Cup trophy still remains untouched, the 34-year-old Messi will definitely be a relieved man after leading Argentina to glory in Copa America.