Former Barcelona teammates Neymar and Lionel Messi will go head-to-head against each other at the Copa America finals on Sunday morning, 11th July. They might drop the hoodoo that has hit some of their countries most-legendary footballers. Like Argentina’s Diego Maradona and Brazil’s Pele, both Messi and Neymar have never won the Copa title. This statistics will undoubtedly change at the Dream final, which will take place at the iconic Maracana Stadium. This will be Messi’s fourth Copa America final and might also be his final opportunity to finish up on the conquering side.
What to expect?
Lionel Messi has been his team’s standout player. The 6 times Ballon d’Or can not only score goals but also has the power to set up goals. On the other hand, Neymar is pretty reliable, and this final will be a massive opportunity to prove himself and win the title. At the age of 34, this final might be the last one for Messi, and the following year’s World Cup might also be his last international competition.
The finals were nothing but dissatisfying for Messi as his team lost in 2007, 2015, and 2016 Copa America. His side was also defeated 1-0 by Germany during the 2014 World Cup. On the other hand, Neymar missed out on the 2019 Copa due to an injury. Even though his team won the title, his chance of performing at the finals didn’t occur because he was aiding his wound at that time. People are looking forward to the performance of Neymar against Barcelona-teammate.
Argentina and Brazil have faced each other in the Copa over 100 times. Argentina won the first of them 2-0 in 1937 at the South American Championship [the predecessors of Copa], and Brazil won the other three. In the 2004 Copa, Brazil defeated Argentina by 4-2 penalties after the game was leveled to 2-2 by striker Adriano. The arch-rivals met again a year later in Germany for the Confederations Cup, where Argentina was beaten by 4-1. Adriano played brilliantly during that match, and he also got to play alongside Ronaldinho and Kaka.
Now, all eyes are on the finals that will take place on Sunday at the Maracana. Brazil hopes to win its 10th South American Trophy, and Argentina aims to achieve its 15th continental title. The stadium will be empty due to the health rules so that both sides will play without the presence of the spectators.