“The final of dreams.”
Probably every football fan in the world will admit that it is a great thing to face Brazil in the final. Football is a team sport, no matter how much the coaches lean towards a result-oriented game over time – so far most spectators have enjoyed watching a game full of Latin personal skills.
The problem is that no matter how much all the spectators in the world expect artistic football, in reality the first demand from the supporters and players of both the teams will be to win the title. Think of the Argentine fans and players in particular. The last time Argentina won a national team title was in the 1993 Copa. Argentina then played six finals in a row – the 1995 Confederations Cup, the 1998 Copa, the 2004 Copa, the 2005 Confederations Cup, the 2007 Copa, the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Copa and the 2016 Copa. But after so many efforts, they did not have the good fortune to cut the last scratch of the brush and touch the dream title. Every time the guilt of failure has been their companion.
On the other hand, their rivals Brazil have enjoyed 11 finals in 13 finals, including two World Cup titles. So, in the dream final, the Brazilian team is getting the favorite badge at home, it can not be said anymore.
The thing that keeps Brazil ahead of the two teams is their ability to play their normal game despite the pressure of the final. Brazil last lost in the final of the 1999 Confederations Cup against Mexico. Brazil has won 5 Copa, one World Cup and 3 Confederations Cups.
On the other hand, Argentina’s problem is not being able to score in the final. Despite scoring in the 2005 Confederations Cup, Argentina lost to Brazil. After that they played 4 more finals but did not score a goal.
Will Argentina see that desired goal in tomorrow’s final? And even if it is enough to win the title?
Everyone knows that Messi, the best player of all time, will have to burn to beat Brazil on the field. Despite playing three finals for Argentina, Messi has no goals or assists. Maybe that’s why the goalless Argentina team.
Lionel Messi’s record against Brazil is not to be missed. There are a total of 5 goals in 11 matches, including a hat-trick, against arch-rivals. But the problem is, it’s all in a friendly match. Despite playing 5 matches against Brazil so far in the competitive match, there are no goals or assists.
Even in the knockout stages of tournaments like the World Cup or the Copa America, Messi has no goals, no wins against world champions. Excluding the World Cup, Messi’s performance against a big team in the Copa America knockout stage is not at all messy. Why can’t Messi and his team give away their normal game if they play against a big team in the knockout stage.
Who is usually considered to be Argentina’s toughest opponent in the Copa America? Certainly not Venezuela, Ecuador or Colombia. The strongest are undoubtedly Brazil, followed by Uruguay and Chile.
Let’s take a look at Messi’s opponents in the knockout stages of the last few seasons in Copa.
In the quarter-finals and semifinals of the 2006 Copa America, Argentina faced Peru and Mexico, respectively. They lost to Brazil in the final.
Argentina, along with Messi, lost to Uruguay in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Copa America.
In the 2015 Copa America quarterfinals and semifinals, Argentina faced Colombia and Peru, respectively. They lost to Chile in the final.
In the 2016 Copa America quarterfinals and semifinals, Argentina faced Venezuela and the United States, respectively. They lost to Chile again in the final.
Venezuela was Argentina’s opponent in the quarter finals of the 2019 Copa America. They lost to Brazil in the semifinals.
This will end at some point or another, which means Argentina will have to lose in the final. But Argentine supporters must want the matter settled tomorrow. The Argentine team, which has been going through a turnaround recently under the new coach, is doing well enough. However, if you want to win the title from the field of Brazil, you have to work with the limitations of Messi. The whole world knows about Messi’s limitations, but Messi and his team know. Who knows better than Messi that he has to overcome these limitations in order to win the international title for Argentina?
Although a large part of the whole world thinks about Messi, why is another person falling behind him. That’s right, Neymar. Romario, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Kakar are the only star players to mention in the Brazilian team in the last few years. He also played as a central player in the coach’s plan. The Brazilians were dreaming of winning the sixth World Cup around him. But Neymar could not win anything to mention the Brazilian jersey. His only achievement for Brazil was the 2013 Confederations Cup win. Winning the Copa title by beating arch-rivals Argentina at home before targeting the next World Cup will definitely add another feather to his crown. Neymar would like to leave that opportunity?
Neymar’s record against Argentina is also good. In all, 3 goals and 4 assists in 10 matches speak for him. Goals and assists in two competitive matches. He is also playing well in the current tournament. Man of the match Neymar in both matches of the knockout stage.
There is no doubt that Neymar is in a good rhythm to beat Argentina and win the title. If we can keep that rhythm in the final match, Argentina’s waiting time will undoubtedly increase.
It is foolish to speculate about the game ‘Brazil vs Argentina’. No favorites usually work in such matches. Both teams suffer from so much nervousness in the game that the result can go in anyone’s favor.
Take the 2007 Copa America final. With star-studded teams such as Tevez, Riquelme, Milito, Mascherano, Ayala and young Messi, Argentina advanced to the final, winning every group stage and knockout match. Brazil, on the other hand, sent out squads with the exception of a number of key players. They lost one match in the group stage and won the semi-final in a tiebreaker. But it was Brazil who went on to win the title by beating Argentina in the final.
Think back to the 1990 World Cup. Brazil was in great form at the 1990 World Cup. After winning all three of the three matches in the group stage, they went to the next stage as favorites. Brazil’s opponents, on the other hand, were Cameroon, Romania and Argentina, who somehow finished third in the group from the Soviet Union. Do you know what the headline of the newspaper was the day after the match? Brazil 69 minutes, Maradona 1 minute. Although Brazil is not close to the team judgment or the performance of that tournament, Brazil is knocked out in that one minute.
Who can say that the favorites will not fall in tomorrow’s match? Wouldn’t Argentine fans expect that one-minute magic from Messi tomorrow? Will Lionel Messi have a better chance of failing the previous three finals, being goalless against a big team in a knockout, winning his first title for the national team, or shutting the mouths of critics?
On the other hand, Neymar and his forces certainly do not have the desire to win the title at home. No matter which team wins in the end, it is to be hoped that football fans will witness a breathless competitive match tomorrow. The result at the end of the day is just an extra credit!