The two South American giants will meet face to face in the decisive duel of the current edition of the continental tournament where they will define who is the champion. Scratch wants its third two-time championship and confirmation of its dominance in the region. La Albiceleste, on the other hand, is on its seventh attempt to end the 28-year streak without titles. Scaloni hesitates on defense, Tite has almost everything ready. The Maracana will be the setting for next Saturday.
This weekend, the Copa América will have its closure, but not before providing a show that is up to the task. The most attractive final that this contest could offer will be reality. Argentina and Brazil, in a new version of the Classic of the Americas, will settle the championship belt.
It will be the fourth time that both meet in a definition of this type, with a difference of 2-1 in favor of Brazil, victorious in the last two decisive duels with each other. Three if you count the 2005 Confederations Cup.
The rich history has 107 games and Canarinha also dominates it with 42 victories, two more than Argentina. The remaining 25 matches ended tied. Of the last ten, four were joys for the Albiceleste, but all in international friendlies. The others, one brown and five won by Brazil.
The mythical Maracana of Rio de Janeiro will give the headquarters in which the Verdeamarelha and the Albiceleste will face each other. With the arbitration of the Uruguayan Esteban Ostojich, the South American giants will put the end to a championship with a weak start, but that saved all the emotions for the decisive phase.
THE GRAND FINAL IS HERE!
On July 10, two classic rivals will face each other in the most anticipated match of CONMEBOL #America Cup 🏆. In the legendary Maracanã 🏟, the team that will remain in the history of South American football will be defined.
Who will raise the glass? 🇧🇷🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/UOmWJJL0LZ
– Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 8, 2021
Brazil: the favorite, at home and with unbeatable statistics
Scratch, which lifted the trophy in 2019, is going for its two-time championship in this competition, something it achieved on two other occasions. The first was when he was crowned in Bolivia ’97 and Paraguay ’99; the second after Peru ’04 and Venezuela ’07.
There is a fact that perfectly describes the strength of the Verdeamarelha every time the tournament takes place in your country: in the five editions that took place there, it was proclaimed the winner. Registering – not counting the current one – 21 victories, eight draws and only one fall.
The only Senior competitions in which he was not champion are the 1950 World Cups (when he was runner-up) and 2014 (which came in fourth place). Then all the Copa América and the 2013 Confederations Cup stayed in the largest nation in the region.
Also the 2016 Olympic Games and the 1976 and 2000 Pre-Olympic Tournaments, although of course, these competitions are for under-23 footballers.
In official matches, Brazil drags a shocking undefeated against South American rivals: it has not fallen in its national territory for 80 games. The last defeat was against Peru in the 1975 Copa América.
Argentina: Messi and the dreams of cutting the malaria
This final is as important for the Albiceleste as it is for Lionel Messi himself. Both suffer from their own accumulated stigmas and frustrations. The evil suffered by the Argentine National Team dates back to 1993, the year in which it raised its last official trophy in the Copa América in Ecuador at the hands of Gabriel Batistuta and with Alfio Basile as coach.
Since then, there has been no more joy in Senior competitions. Eleven technicians, from Basile himself in the 1994 World Cup to Lionel Scaloni in the 2019 edition of this competition, failed in their desire to give the national team a new star.
Seven World Cups, nine America’s Cup (excluding Colombia ’01, where it did not participate) and two Confederations Cups have passed since that conquest in Ecuador. However, he accumulated runners-up in these decades, being seven times where glory slipped from him.
The first, in the Confederations of 95 – when it was still called the “King Fahd Cup” -. Those then led by Daniel Passarella fell 2-0 to Denmark on goals from Michael Laudrup and Peter Rasmussen. They had to wait until the Copa América in Peru ’04 to have another chance: with Marcelo Bielsa on the bench, they were twice ahead of Brazil due to goals from Cristian González and César Delgado, but ended up on penalties for draws by Luisao and Adriano at the close of each time. There, they lost 4-2.
A year later, Canarinha was once again the executioner, but in the Confederations Cup: in Frankfurt they beat them 4-1 with a double by Adriano and the annotations of Kaká and Ronaldinho (discounted Pablo Aimar). In the 2007 Copa América, Brazil again frustrated Argentina. In Venezuela, Basile’s men fell 3-0 after the shouts of Julio Baptista, Roberto Ayala on his own goal and Daniel Alves.
The most painful was undoubtedly the 2014 World Cup final, with Alejandro Sabella as coach. At Maracana, Germany won 1-0 in extra time with a goal from Mario Götze after Albiceleste squandered clear chances in regulation time. The Copa América of 2015 (in Chile) and 2016 (United States), in Gerardo Martino’s cycle, were the recent ones: in both he drew 0-0 and fell against La Roja on penalties, 4-1 and 4-2 respectively.
Now, back in the Maracana, you will have the opportunity to end that 29-year drought. It is also a chance for Messi, present in the last four finals lost by Argentina. He has only one U-20 World Cup and a Gold Medal in the Olympic Games to his credit, but he lacks that title in Seniors that he devotes, the pending account of the star.
After a championship that showed him at a very high level and taking the leadership of the National Team like never before, throwing epic images such as his bloody ankle against Colombia, being a scorer, assistant and figure of the tournament, La Pulga goes for his most desired star.
Scaloni and Tite start their chess game
Thinking about the defining ‘match’, the Brazilian commander seems to have more certainties than the Argentine. Taking both teams, the only footballer who is already out is striker Gabriel Jesús (he owes a suspension date for his expulsion against Chile).
Most likely, Tite will repeat the men who beat Peru, while Scaloni waits for defender Cristian Romero and hesitates on the right flank of the defense after the bad game of Nahuel Molina Lucero and Gonzalo Montiel against Colombia. In addition, on the left side, the unknown between Marcos Acuña and Nicolás Tagliafico is already common. Same situation for Leandro Paredes or Guido Rodríguez in midfield. The others will repeat.
The strategists are already at the stage where they polish the details for the fight that will be to get the title next Saturday at the Maracana.