“The final we all looked forward to.”
Spain’s “Marca” expressed the matchup of the 2021 Copa America (South American Football Championship), which determines the strongest team in South America. It’s a big match that will make football fans around the world flutter.
Brazil, ranked third in the FIFA rankings, and Argentina, ranked seventh, clash in the final of the tournament at Maracanang Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at 9 a.m. on the 11th. It is the first time in 14 years since 2007 that the two teams, which claim to be the strongest in South America, have won the Copa America final. At that time, Brazil won 3-0 to reach the top.
Brazil, the defending champion (2019), will try to win its 10th championship. Argentina will collect trophies that have been lost since 1993. If he wins this championship, he will set a tie record for most wins (15 times) in the tournament with Uruguay.
The match between the two teams is a showdown between leading stars Neymar (PSG) and Messi (Barcelona). The two, who won the UEFA Champions League while eating together in Barcelona (Spain) during the 2014-2015 season, have usually shown off their extraordinary friendship. Even after Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain (France) in 2017, there is a constant possibility that the two will reunite.
Neymar beat Peru 1-0 in the semi-final and said, “I want Argentina. “I’m rooting for them,” he said. “I have a friend (Messie) on the team, but Brazil will win the final.” Messi, who beat Colombia after a penalty shootout, said, “It’s not only Neymar but also the final we’ve all been waiting for,” adding, “We’ve both reached the final, and it’s going to be the final that everyone wanted.”
Regardless of friendship, it is an unyielding match for the two who do not win major tournaments such as the World Cup and Copa. Messi, who swept all awards, including four Champions League titles and six Ballon d’Or awards, also failed to reach the top of the national team, has a different mindset. Messi said, “It’s very close, but it’s going to be a very difficult challenge. “We’ve done our best in every game, and now we’re going to try to win the final.”
Messi, the current top scorer of the tournament (4 goals and 5 assists), will add two goals in the final, surpassing the most goals (77 goals) set by “football emperor” Pele. Messi scored 76 goals in 150 A-matches. Adding attack points, he records the first double-digit attack points in the history of the tournament, while also setting a new record for his Copa’s most attack points.
Neymar was injured and had to watch Brazil win the title in 2019. Neymar also scored two goals in the tournament, the highest score in the team with Lucas Paketa.