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Lionel Messi came through Argentina's Copa America semi-final win over Columbia with a bloody ankle but an inspired spirit to book a final with arch rivals Brazil.
The Barcelona icon, who remains a free agent after his most recent deal expired, has been among the players of the tournament in South America, scoring four goals and adding five assists.
In coming up against Colombia in Brasilia, Messi was subject to a few rough challenges, entering a war of words with Everton defender Yerry Mina during the encounter.
However, it was the six time Ballon d'Or winner who got the last laugh, scoring in the shoot-out as Mina missed following a 1-1 draw after the 90 minutes and extra time.
Earlier on in the tournament, Mina ignored the nerves that come alongside penalty shootouts by dancing and joking after scoring his effort against Uruguay – despite there being two kicks to go.
This time around, he wasn't so keen to start dancing.
Before the spot-kick, keeper Martinez tried to distract Mina with some choice words, and said things like “I’m going to eat you alive” and “I know where you’re going to shoot”.
Martinez guessed the right way, Mina’s penalty was saved and Messi shouted “How about dancing now?”
Will Messi sign a new deal with Barcelona following Copa America? Give us your thoughts in the comments
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Before saying of their upcoming final clash against Brazil in his press conference: "Brazil with Neymar is going to be very tough.
"We know their potential and what Ney can do individually.
"What I want most is to win something with the national team. I always try to leave everything playing for the national team, to give my all. I always fight to win the cup.
"Whether we have won or lost we have always progressed deep in the Copa America and now once again too, and this group deserve it."
While Messi did shine, Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was the hero as he saved three penalties in the shootout and earned huge praise from his colleagues.
Messi added: "We knew it was going to be difficult. We got the draw and the penalties are a lottery, but we were very confident.
"We have a phenomenon in goal. I knew he was going to save at least two and he didn't disappoint. He deserves it because he is a beast."
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- Lionel Messi
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