Brazil will take on archrivals Argentina in the 2021 Copa America final at the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
The Selecao beat Peru 1-0 on Tuesday, while Argentina defeated Colombia 3-2 on penalties after three saves by goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez the following day in the semi-finals.
Brazil enter this one as the favourites after winning the 2019 Copa America when they beat Peru 3-1 in the final, while Argentina haven’t tasted continental glory since 1993 when Gabriel Batistuta scored twice in a 2-1 victory over Mexico in Ecuador.
Copa America 2021 Final
Sunday 11 July
Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho
To Win (90 min)
To Lift The Cup
Brazil are the title holders and have won the Copa America on nine occasions. Having steamrolled through the competition, the reigning champions will be confident of adding a second straight continental trophy to their cabinet. The Selecao have amazingly not lost a Copa America match in their home nation since 1975.
The Brazilians made light work of their opponents when winning the competition in 2019 and have only improved since. Tite’s men have been practically faultless at Copa America so far, winning five of their six games, scoring 12 and conceding just twice.
Brazil got through the group stages with relative ease, beating Venezuela, Peru and Colombia to top Group B before finishing on a 1-1 draw with Ecuador. They had to then overcome Chile and Peru in the quarter and semi-finals respectively to book their place in the final.
Chelsea’s Thiago Silva captains the side and will be looking to exert the same influence that helped the Blues win the Champions League in May. Neymar’s great form at the moment also bodes well for the home side. However, the suspension of Gabriel Jesus will be a huge miss.
Argentina have won the Copa America 14 times, just one shy of Uruguay’s 15 trophies. But it’s been 28 years since they were crowned continental champions. The Albiceleste have made it to four finals in the last six tournaments, albeit, failing to lift the trophy in that time.
Lionel Scaloni’s men are in dire need of a trophy, and this could be their best and last shot for Lionel Messi and co. to secure international silverware.
The Albiceleste cruised through the group stage in relatively comfortable fashion with 10 points, before defeating Ecuador 3-0 in the quarter-finals and edging Colombia on a penalty shootout in the last four.
Argentina have done well at the tournament so far and there is real optimism that they can finally end their long trophy drought, especially with captain and talisman Messi in excellent form, netting four goals and providing five assists. Lautaro Martinez has also had a tremendous tournament and the manager will hope that the Inter Milan striker continues his rich goalscoring form.
For Argentina, nothing hurts quite like losing to Brazil, and the semi-final defeat against the Selecao in the 2019 Copa America will still be fresh in the minds of the Argentinian players.
Verdict: Brazil 11/10
With home advantage, the best coach and squad on the continent and a proven track record of success, it really is difficult to make a case against the Brazilians. In the last 12 games that Brazil played in 2020 and 2021, they have won 11 of them and kept clean sheets in nine of those matches. Back Tite’s men to pick up their 10th Copa America title and successfully defend the crown they won in 2019.