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Photo: El Clasico rivals Lionel Messi and James Rodriguez trade shirts after enthralling Copa America clash

Lionel Messi Argentina

Argentina reached the Copa America semi-final with a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Colombia.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid ace James Rodriguez embraced following Argentina’s nail-biting 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Colombia in the Copa America quarter-final.

The two icons are among the tournament's star players this summer and have gotten used to seeing each other in action during their respective La Liga campaigns.

Rodriguez, an expensive import from Monaco, was one of Madrid’s leading players last season with 13 goals and 13 assists in 29 Spanish top-flight matches.

However, the 23-year-old ended the season trophy-less whereas Messi, in contrast, enjoyed enormous success, winning the league title, Copa Del Rey and the Champions League with the Catalans.

And the 28-year-old’s trophy success for the summer may not end there as Argentina finally navigated their way past a battling Colombia side despite Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina’s heroics.

The Gunners’ custodian kept out the tournament favourites on a number of occasions and James Rodriguez and co. were largely indebted to Ospina for helping them hold out for a 0-0 draw.

Yet, for all their valiant defending, the Colombians paid the price for some poor penalty taking, two of which endangered row Z more than Sergio Romero in the Argentine net.

Despite his side’s disappointing exit, Santiago Bernabeu ace James seeked out his El Clasico rival for some kind words and his match-day shirt, a fitting finale to a gripping Copa America quarter-final.

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