Tomorrow’s titanic clash between the archrivals, Brazil and Argentina in the 2021 Copa America grand finale promises to be an epic encounter by any standard and it will be witnessed by the entire footballing world.
Ten nations started the finals of the 47th edition of the Copa America, originally scheduled to hold in 2020 but was postponed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The 10 nations were split into two groups of five each with the top four of each group moving into the quarter final stage of the competition.
The host and defending champions, Brazil booked their place in their 22nd finals after defeating Peru by one goal to nil with a first-half goal from the Olympique Lyon midfielder, Lucas Paqueta.
Argentina, on the other hand, found themselves lucky in their 28th finals in the Copa America after their semi-final win over Columbia in a penalty shoot out after the game stalemated at a goal apiece after full time and extra time running into 120 minutes of play.
The 2021 Copa America tournament is being played in five venues, namely Brasília, Goiânia, Cuiabá, and Rio de Janeiro, but the grand finale will be played in the prestigious Maracanà Stadium in Rio De Janeiro.
Defending champions, Brazil are hopeful of their 10th title in the South American Championship while Argentina is also aiming at winning their 15th time in the tournament.
Both countries are gunning for the trophy but on paper, Argentina and Lionel Messi need it more. The last time Argentina lifted the Copa America cup was in 1993.
Lionel Messi who is now 34, has won the Ballon d’ Or six times, La Liga 100 times, and the Champions League four tines, all with Barcelona. Apart from his 2008 Olympics football gold medal in China, Messi is yet to win any title with the Argentina senior team.
The big question is: can mercurial Messi end Argentina’s 28-year wait for a major title?
Brazil: Ederson Moraes, Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Renan Lodi, Casemiro, Fred, Everton, Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Neymar.
Argentina: Emiliano Martinez, Nahuel Molina, Nicolas Otamendi, German Pezzella, Nicolas Tagliafico, Rodrigo De Paul, Guido Rodriguez, Giovani Lo Celso, Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Nicolas Gonzalez.
Players to watch out for in the Copa America final match are Lionel Messi for Argentina and Neymar for Brazil.
Brazil and Argentina have met 107 times since in the history of football, but they have only met few times in the finals of major tournaments.
The selecoà and Argentina rivalry is considered to be one of the oldest and most popular in the world of football and it is very important for the Argentine Captain, Lionel Messi, who has never won any international trophy for his national team despite his numerous achievements as a player except the under-21 Olympic Games.
Lionel Messi has never won any international trophy for his country despite his enormous achievement in football history and he will do everything to make sure he wins because this might be the last major tournament he will be playing for his country.
The selecoà side on the other hand, has shown quality and an amazing performance since the beginning of the tournament and in their last final matches against the Argentines, they have always been on the winning side.
But even with Argentina’s depth and experience, plus Messi’s influence, Brazil may still win the match by two goals to one.