Copa America: Messi’s Argentina will face Neymar’s Brazil in the final

Muhammad Arsalan ArabWeb Editor

08th Jul, 2021. 11:45 pm
Copa America

Lionel Messi will look to break his international title drought as the Argentine captain prepares to face Brazil in the Copa America Final.

Argentina will face Brazil in the much-anticipated final at Rio de Janeiro’s famous Maracana Stadium, one of football’s spiritual homes, on Sunday, and it could be Lionel Messi’s last chance to win an international trophy.

Due to health regulations, the final will be played in an empty Maracana.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will be looking to win a major title with his country for the first time since 1993. Messi appeared in the 2007 and 2015 Copa America finals, as well as the 2014 World Cup final, which he lost to Germany at the Maracana.

“What I want the most is to win a title with the national team,” said the Argentina captain after Tuesday’s 3-2 penalty shootout victory against Colombia in the semifinal.

“We aim high, we managed to get the first objective, which was to play the final, play every match. Now we aim higher than ever,” he added.

Messi and Neymar are close friends after winning the Champions League with Barcelona in 2015. When the Catalan giants defeated Brazil’s Santos 4-0 in the Club World Cup final in 2011, they were on different sides.

Only two weeks before the start of the Copa America, Brazil was named host. It will be a fitting conclusion to a tournament marred by misfortunes and relocated at the last minute to one of the countries hardest struck by Covid-19.

Due to injuries, Neymar was ruled out of the 2019 Copa America. After Brazil’s 1-0 triumph over Peru on Monday, he stated that he wanted to play Argentina in the final.

“But Brazil wins the final,” Neymar jokingly said. After Argentina and Colombia were eliminated as co-hosts, he was one of the players who voiced his displeasure with the late decision to hold the tournament in his country.

Argentina was a major favorite to win the 2007 Copa America, but a 3-0 triumph by Brazil in the final ended Messi’s ambitions.

In the previous Copa, Brazil defeated Argentina. Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored in the semifinal to give the team a 2-0 win.

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