Argentina, Brazil set to clash in blockbuster Copa final Head to Head
It might be the last chance for Lionel Messi to get his hands on the international silverware as Argentina will take on Brazil in the much-awaited final at Rio de Janeiro's historic Maracana Stadium, one of soccer's spiritual homes on Sunday.
* 111 head-to-head encounters be tween the two sides, Brazil hold the advantage. They have won 46 games, lost 40 and drawn 25. The two countries last faced each other in 2019, with Argentina beating Brazil 1-0.
RIO DE JANEIRO: It might be the last chance for Lionel Messi to get his hands on the international silverware as Argentina will take on Brazil in the much-awaited final at Rio de Janeiro's historic Maracana Stadium, one of soccer's spiritual homes on Sunday.
The final will be played almost in an empty Maracana due to health protocols.
"What I want the most is to win a title with the national team," said Argentina captain Messi said after Tuesday's 3-2 penalty shootout victory against Colombia in the semifinal.
"We aim high, we managed to get the first objective, which was to play the final, play every match. Now we aim higher than ever," he added.
Neymar's Brazil team, the defending champions, and Lionel Messi's challengers have won a combined seven World Cups and 23 continental titles.
Brazil became Copa America host only two weeks before the opener. It will be a memorable ending to a tournament plagued by setbacks and moved at the last minute to one of the countries hardest-hit by Covid-19.
Neymar was ruled out of the 2019 Copa due to injury. He said after Brazil's 1-0 win against Peru on Monday that he wanted to face Argentina in the decider.
"But Brazil wins the final," Neymar jokingly said. He was one of the players who expressed concerns about the late decision to stage the tournament in his country after Argentina and Colombia were dropped as co-hosts.
Argentina and Brazil have faced off more than 100 times, but only in four deciders.
Argentina won the first of them 2-0 in 1937 for the South American championship, the predecessor of the Copa. Brazil won the other three.
Brazil beat Argentina 4-2 on penalties to win the 2004 Copa after striker Adriano levelled the game at 2-2 with the last shot in regular time.
One year later, the two arch rivals met for the Confederations Cup title in Germany. The Selecao hammered Argentina 4-1 after another great display by Adriano, who was playing alongside Kaká and Ronaldinho.
Argentina was heavy favorite to win the 2007 Copa, but Brazil crushed Messi's hopes with a 3-0 win in the final.
Brazil also beat Argentina in the previous Copa. A 2-0 victory in the semifinal came with goals by Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino. Agencies