A final which can divide the world and make it stand still- Brazil Vs Argentina Copa America 2021 final preview

July 10, 2021

The Copa America 2021 has been plagued with organizationally problematic situations as it has been being held in the backdrop of health as well as social and public turmoil and to everyone’s disappointment the matches were played in the empty stadiums without the roar and cheer of the fans. The shimmer and glow of the event are by far less compared to UEFA EURO 2020 which is the most-watched tournament this summer. The TRP is not skyrocketing its way through the roof, the CONMEBOL (American Football Confederation) has hoped to redeem it all with a shinning cherry on top of an otherwise dull cake.

The supporters were not downhearted this time as the defending Champions are going to face their arch-rivals on Sunday at 5:30 AM (IST) at the Maracanã in Rio de Janerio. As the final between Brazil and Argentina is just hours away, the mood in Rio is quite uplifted as announced by the authorities, 10 percent of the total capacity of spectators will be allowed with all the anticipation around the world of such a high voltage encounter. It is hard to keep calm. Two of the greatest rivals in World Football are coming together to face each other in a title decider after 2007 and the question has boiled down to a simple choice for the football fanatics- Who is going to win this, is it going to be Messi or Neymar?

The friendship and the rivalry continues

The Brazilian star had uttered when asked about his former Barcelona colleague and friend Leo Messi-

“Our friendship is on the line. The respect between us is still great but only one can win”

This final is more than that for Lionel Messi as the 34-year-old Argentine captain and one of the greatest players of all time, his trophy cabinet has been missing a major Championship win for his country and it might be his last chance to do so. On the other hand, Neymar has also not won a major trophy for his country as in 2019 he missed the Copa’s due to injury. But to distract our minds off the result let’s talk about the fact that we have seen some brilliant play from these two sides and especially Messi and Neymar. After almost a year of watching Neymar play with such freedom and passion despite his country’s lack of enthusiasm to appear in this tournament and Messi’s leadership skills, and determination to guide his country to achieve the glory have been exceptional.

Brazil has not taken this competition seriously. Pele never won it for instance. As their eyes have always been on another World Cup win but their coach Tite puts Copa America on his priority list and the transformation that he has brought in this Brazilian side has been truly remarkable. Alongside Neymar, Casemiero, Fred, and Marquinhos another member of the team that has caught everyone’s attention is Lucas Paqueta. The 23-year-old Olympic Lyonnais midfielder after suffering a bit of a blow last season in AC Milan migrated to Lyon this season has gained him some success and the commitment and adaptation that he exhibited to Tite’s 4-2-3-1 strategy, had been extraordinary. Tite is going to miss Gabriel Jesus in the final after his kung-fu kick challenge in the Quarter-finals had got him to suspension and it will be interesting to see who Tite uses in his position after the failure of Everton Cebolina in the semis.

Argentina has won this competition 14 times and the last being in 1993 when they won it back to back and since then they have been facing dismay as they lost their last Copa America final to Chile in the year 2016 on penalties. But this time might be different for La Albiceleste– with the brilliant display of solidarity in the team and their goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez who has made some incredible saves in their semis against Columbia have revitalized their dream of grabbing the trophy of the oldest tournament in the history of football. Now the million dollar question that lies is- Will Argentina be able to end their 28-year long wait?

“We’re going to play a final against our eternal rivals, the lifelong ones, the two most powerful national teams in South America and we hope it will be a great match,” said Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni in his pre-match press conference.

The history and the statistics favor Brazil over Argentina today but that is not going to stop this match from being sensationalized as the world divides over their preferred choice of team. Only time will tell the result of this face-off but till then let’s enjoy talking and predicting the outcome. So guys keep being passionate about your favorite side. See you all on the other side of the final!

Team News:

Argentina Predicted Starting line-up: Emiliano Martinez, Nicolas Tagliafico, Nicolas Otamendi, German Pezzella, Nahuel Molina, Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Daniel Paredes, Rodrigo De Paul, Alejandro “Papu” Gomez, Lautaro Martinez, Lionel Messi

Brazil Predicted Starting line-up: Ederson Moraes, Danilo, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro, Casemiro, Fred, Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Everton, Neymar Jr.