Amid all the excitement of the EURO 2020 in full-house stadiums, the empty stands of Maracana have snatched the attention of the footballing world with two fierce rivals Brazil and Argentina set to lock horns in the Copa America final. All eyes would be on Lionel Messi, who is still waiting for his first major international trophy in the Albiceleste colours. Although, to be fair, Neymar is still in the same boat, but the only difference is that the Brazilian has plenty of time on his side. This Brazil Vs Argentina Copa America final promises to be an absolute cracker of a contest.
While Argentina are the record-holders with 14 Copa America titles compared to Brazil’s 9, their last triumph was back in 1993 thanks to Gabriel Batistuta’s brace in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Mexico. The nation produced a lot of famous names over the years, but the new generation has underperformed in the international circuit, including the maestro himself.
Brazil Vs Argentina Copa America Final – What Argentina Has Done Right
But they have the opportunity to create history in a few hours’ time. This side is much different to the previous ones that came up short at the biggest stage, and the sheer mentality exhibited during the semi-final must have made the fans believe once again. Not only did Argentina overcome the tie-breaker hoodoo, but they also showcased resilience and grit against Colombia in the semi-final.
The current squad is a coalescence of youth and experience. Also, the emergence of Emiliano Martinez is a relief after years of conundrum between the sticks. The former Arsenal keeper has upped his game since securing a summer move to Aston Villa and is now one of the most high-profile custodians in the Premier League circuit.
We must also praise Lionel Scaloni, who has done a commendable job since being appointed as the Argentina boss. He cares more about results than the brand of football and, therefore, assembled a squad that would meet his demands and deliver as a unit. Copa this year is not just about Messi Vs Neymar; it’s a battle of two good teams who have flourished together in recent years.
Speaking of Neymar, Tite has handed a free status to the flamboyant Brazilian this time around. Playing down the wide areas restricts his game, and the current role allows the 29-year-old to score, create and contribute more often. The skills and tricks against Peru brought back the essence of ‘Joga Bonito’, but the momentum shift remains a concern for the five-time World champions who handed their opponents a lifeline against the run of play.
Defending a narrow lead has been a problem for both Argentina and Brazil. Brazil have a star-studded squad with ample depth, but their success will be dependent upon game management and decision-making during this thrilling contest.