Lionel Messi finally laid some international football demons to rest as he led Argentina to Copa America victory, defeating fierce rivals Brazil. Messi also shattered a record previously held by long-time Balon D’Or opponent Cristiano Ronaldo as a result of his accomplishment.
Following the victory on July 10, Messi turned to Instagram to celebrate the team’s success, posting a photo of himself in the locker room, proudly clutching the trophy, with the caption: “What a beautiful madness! This is unbelievable! Thank you, God! We are the champions!” As of now, the picture has received over 20 million likes, making it the most popular Instagram post ever.
After Diego Maradona’s death in late 2020, Ronaldo’s record lasted little over a year, since the previous most liked post was a heartfelt homage to the late Diego Maradona. Messi’s personal homage to Maradona, with whom he worked closely in the international set-up, was also among the top 20 most popular posts from an athlete, with 16.4 million likes and a position of 16th on the list.