Argentina and Brazil renewed their rivalry in the final of the 2021 Copa America! In a game that was chippy and passions flared, Argentina was the nation that came out on top. Leonel Messi checked off another box in his illustrious career helping Argentina win their first Copa America in 28 years! Here’s a look back at how that happened as we tie a bow on our Copa America Coverage as Argentina wins 2021 Copa America.
Argentina wins 2021 Copa America!
Ángel Di Maria found the game’s only goal for Argentina. Brazil accidentally gifted him the ball in the 22nd minute. He was in on goal and pulled off a lovely chip over Brazils goalkeeper Ederson. That goal was one of two shots on goal that Argentina produced in the match, as Brazil played their normal dominating style.
Brazil spent most of the match with the ball, they had 59% of the ball throughout the match. They could pass it around Argentina, with an 87% accuracy, but failed to find that killer pass needed to get a goal. This was especially true after Argentina scored; they were very well organized defensively and looked to spring counters when Brazil lost possession.
This match was chippy and was always going to be low-scoring. Argentina tacked up 19 fouls while Brazil pilled on 22. Both sides also had an expected goals average at under 0.77, which is low especially for these teams. As the game entered the final 10 minutes Brazil put on an onslaught. Emiliano Martinez stepped up big in the Argentine goal as he stopped Barbosa from scoring off of a deflected cross put in Neymar. Messi had a chance soon after to put the game on ice for Argentina, but he was not able to get the ball around the onrushing Ederson.
The final whistle sounded after a good chunk of extra time. Messi dropped to his knees and his teammates ran to pile onto him, as Argentina won the 2021 Copa America
Pull that monkey of Messi’s back
Messi is easily one of if not the greatest soccer player of all time. His GOAT status was pretty much already cemented, but he had never won an international championship for Argentina. The 5′ 7″ attacker has graced us with his beautiful way of playing the game. He can be direct with his pace and agile with his ability to dance around players. He’s deadly from a freekick and serves a great ball into his teammates on set pieces. He is unselfish at times finding the right pass in the leadup to or in an attack, while also being ruthless when he can do it himself.
For the past 17 years, he’s graced the football pitch and made his mark on it. Multiple generations of children have seen him play and want to mimic his game. He is truly an icon, but the one thing the naysayers got on him about was never winning anything with Argentina’s senior men’s national team. Here’s a list of everything Messi had won before this Copa America with Argentina:
- La Liga (Spanish League Championship) – 10 times winner
- Spanish Cup Winner – Seven times winner
- Spanish Super Cup Winner – Eight times winner
- UEFA Champions League – Four times winner
- UEFA Supercup Winner – Three times winner
- Club World Cup Winner – Three times winner
- Olympic gold medal with Argentina – One time winner
- U-20 World Cup with Argentina – One time winner
People would say he can’t do it outside of club football during the senior level, Now that can be scratched off the list of reasons why people dislike him. Congrats to him!
Brazil will come back even stronger at Qatar 2022
Brazil fell in this match, and it’s their first loss in a very long time. It was a quite bad spot to lose a game. The match was played in Brazil’s home stadium the Maracanã, and fans were in attendance for the first time in the tournament. Brazil dominated the match but came up short. It was the first time a Brazilian team lost a Copa America on home soil.
It was a very rough way to go out. Brazil had dominated the entire tournament. They had scored 12 goals and let in just two through their seven previous 2021 Copa America matches. The heartbreak was real for Brazilian star Neymar. He was also looking for his first trophy win for Brazil. He’s been proclaimed Brazil’s leader since he was 21 years old, now eight years later, he’s still trying to win a tournament with Brazil. His time will come as Brazil are a very very good side.
Brazil should learn from this mistake, and it will likely fuel them as they move forward toward the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar. If this team can continue to steamroll their competition in World cup qualifying they should be able to have it carry over into Qatar. They’ll be looking to show the world they are on a grand stage. They don’t have to wait too long to do just that!
Tieing a bow on Copa America 2021
This concludes Philly Sport’s Network’s coverage of the 2021 Copa America. It’s always so much fun to follow along and catalog everything that takes place!
Thanks to everyone and anyone who followed along with PSN’s Copa America coverage! We hope to have shared some insight into what the beautiful game looks like in a major South American competition.
We’ll continue to preview and recap the action from international soccer tournaments, as we have with the Euros and the Gold Cup this summer. We’ll also be taking a look into World Cup Qualifying everyone once and a while as well as we inch closer to the Men’s World Cup in Qatar which kicks off in November of 2022!
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Mandatory Credit: DiaEsportivo/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire