Photo: Lionel Messi and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez show mutual respect

Alexis Sanchez Chile

The former Barcelona team-mates were on opposing sides in the Copa America final, but embraced ahead of the clash.

Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez showed their mutual respect for each other ahead of last night’s Copa America final with a warm embrace, as can be seen above.

The pair were team-mates at Barcelona for three years together, before the Camp Nou side sold the Chile international to Arsenal last summer.

Sanchez scored 39 La Liga goals during his tenure with the Catalan club and played a part in Barcelona becoming Spanish champions during 2012-13 under Tito Vilanova.

The sale of Sanchez was questioned by some, but Barcelona have shown that it was the right decision as the acquisition of Luis Suarez helped the Blaugrana to a momentous treble last term.

Despite their friendliness ahead of the crunch game in Santiago, Messi will not be as fond of his former team-mate after the result.

The Arsenal attacker scored the decisive spot kick as Chile won their first Copa America crown on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

The result means that Messi has now been on the wrong end of results in international finals on three occasions; in the 2007 Copa America, 2014 World Cup and again this year.

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