Sunday World

Messi , Neymar face off in Copa America final

The two have never lifted the continenta­l cup

-

Former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar were to line up on opposite sides in the early hours of this morning in a Copa America final played at the historic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The two world stars have not lifted the continent’s showpiece, just like their famed countrymen Pele of Brazil and Diego Maradona of Argentina before them.

Pressure was more on Messi, as this could be his last chance to win a major trophy to end his country’s 28-year trophy drought. Messi is 33 years old.

Standing in his way, many believe will be his former Barcelona teammate Neymar, who will spearhead the attack of the defending champions, the Selecao, while Messi will be leading the attack of the La Albicelest­e in the clash of football heavyweigh­ts.

During the semi-final win over Colombia, Messi proved he is a football genius with leadership qualities, and in the tournament itself has four goals and five assists but football is not a one-man game.

The Argentina captain has endured four failures in major tournament finals - three at the Copa America (2007, 2015, 2016) and one at the Fifa World Cup (2014). Brazil won the 2019 Copa America but their strong defence against Argentina’s strike-force and Messi, could be their trump card after conceding just two goals in the first round. • The full match report will be on our website later today.

 ?? /Getty Images ?? Lionel Messi of Argentina during a semi-final match of Copa
America
Brazil 2021.
/Getty Images Lionel Messi of Argentina during a semi-final match of Copa America Brazil 2021.
 ??  ??
 ?? /Getty Images ?? Neymar Jr of Brazil during a match between Brazil and Chile.
/Getty Images Neymar Jr of Brazil during a match between Brazil and Chile.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa