Goals from Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus helped the hosts reach Sunday’s final thanks to a 2-0 victory in Belo Horizonte.
But Messi was left incandescent with the performance of referee Roddy Zambrano and the VAR.
Arthur was lucky to escape punishment for a body check in the box on Nicolas Otamendi and the Argentina captain was also furious with an ‘unbelievable’ decision not to award a penalty after Sergio Aguero appeared to be tripped by Dani Alves in the area just moments before Firmino’s goal.
‘Brazil were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty (to Aguero) they didn’t award,’ said Messi, who was earlier seen confronting the officials at half-time.
‘(VAR) got tired of calling s*** fouls in this Copa America and today they didn’t even check it. Today they never went to VAR. All the bulls*** decisions were to favour them. Cards for us, not to them. There were clear fouls (the referee) never saw,’ he added.
‘That happened all during the game. At the first glance of contact, they ruled in their (Brazil’s) favour and this kind of bulls*** distracted us from the game.’
Messi added: ‘The truth is we’re angry because we played very well, we put in a huge effort and for it to end like this makes us sad… I spoke to the referee and he said he would respect us that he would look after us but at no moment did I see that.’
In the extraordinary rant, Messi also called on the footballing authorities to look into the refereeing of the tournament.
But the 32-year-old claimed Brazil hold too much sway within the South American Football Confederation CONMEBOL for anything to be done.
‘Throughout the tournament they called bulls*** handballs, stupid f****** penalties, and bulls*** fouls. But somehow today, they refused to use VAR.
‘There is no excuses for us, but we need to review this, analyse it and let’s hope CONMEBOL does something about it – but surely not, because Brazil commands too much power in the organisation.
‘I think we played a great game. We made a great effort and they were not superior to us.’
Messi’s sentiments were echoed by Aguero, who claimed he would prefer not to have VAR if this is how it is going to be used.
‘They told us that VAR would be like a fifth referee but when things turn out like this I’d rather it wasn’t there,’ he said.
‘I was running into the area and Alves stopped me with his foot, it was clear, so clear that Foyth stopped and waited for it to be given.’