The 2021 Copa America has been slightly overshadowed by the thrill of football potentially coming home but instead of dwelling on the Euros, we think there’s a lot of room for excitement with regards to the Copa America – especially now that we’ve got a final set in stone for Saturday night.
The manner in which we got to that point was as dramatic as you’d expect with Argentina battling it out against Colombia earlier this week, ending in a penalty shootout win for the Argentines. It sets them up for an absolutely huge occasion this weekend where they will take on bitter rivals Brazil at the Maracana.
Emiliano Martinez has already proven himself to be one hell of a goalkeeper through his time in the Premier League but against Colombia, he took his game to a whole new level. He saved three penalties and put on a masterclass in how to get into the head of your opponent – and no, we aren’t exaggerating. Martinez could well be the difference maker in the final and in this instance, he was definitely the one making the right impact by putting Colombia to the sword.
So close for Colombia
The strange thing about Colombia is that they didn’t play all too well at all in this tournament and yet, they were just a few penalties away from making it to the final – which says a lot about their resilience. It also probably says quite a bit about the style of play they were attempting to implement and why it isn’t sustainable on a long term basis, but that really isn’t the point here. The point is that they can win big games without having to bust a gut and that’s what you need to do on the international level.
Messi’s big moment?
He’s won the Summer Olympics and plenty of club trophies, but Lionel Messi has never won the Copa America or World Cup. If he’s ever going to do it, a final against Brazil at the Maracana would be the kind of poetic justice he needs to ascend to those ultimate heights. Argentine fans have waited an awfully long time to really sink their teeth into a strong tournament win, and after losing the 2014 World Cup final, the stage has been set for Messi to write his past wrongs and really cement his place in history as one of the greats.
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