You can now follow the latest news for free through our Twitter account
Click here to subscribe
It seems that football fans will be on a date this summer, not only with the European Football Championship (Euro 2020), but also with another major tournament that will start soon.
In Brazil, 10 South American teams will compete in the 47th postponed edition of the Copa America, in 28 matches.
This competition was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to the spread of the Corona virus.
The South American Football Championship (Copa America), which is a reflection in large parts of the European Cup, will kick off on the thirteenth of June with the opening match between Brazil and Venezuela.
The final will be played on July 10 – although the time difference means that the final will be watched in Europe in the early morning hours of July 11, the same day as the European Cup final. Football (Euro 2020).
It was originally scheduled to host Argentina and Colombia, before it was transferred to Brazil on May 31.
Why was the tournament moved?
The historic competition matches in South America were scheduled to be held in more than one country for the first time since 1983, but it will be held in Brazil for the second time in a row.
Matches that were to be played in Colombia have been pushed back from that country last May amid ongoing civil unrest, with a series of protests organized against the country’s government after it tried to implement a controversial tax plan.
Argentina offered to host all matches on its soil, but was stripped of the right to host the tournament on May 30, just two weeks before the opening match.
The organizing body of the tournament said that the cancellation of hosting Argentina came due to the “current conditions”, as the country is witnessing a rise in the number of cases of Covid-19 disease.
And Brazil – which itself has been badly affected by the epidemic of the Corona virus – entered the line to host the event, although none of the game’s fans will be able to attend the matches.
Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s president, said the decision to host the tournament was not an open topic, despite receiving widespread criticism.
Brazil has recorded more than 460,000 deaths from COVID-19 – the second highest death toll in the world after the United States. It also includes the third highest number of cases of coronavirus recorded in the world, with more than 16 million cases.
“From the beginning, I said about the epidemic: sorry for the number of deaths, but we have to live our lives,” Bolsonaro said.
Who are the participating teams?
Usually 12 teams participate in the Copa America, in addition to the participation of two countries from North America or Asia as guests to play alongside the ten member teams of the South American Football Confederation.
Australia and Qatar, the former winners of the Asian Nations Cup, were scheduled to participate this year, but both countries later withdrew due to conflicting dates with matches in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
This leaves the teams of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela to compete for the continental championship.
The ten teams were divided into two groups of five, with the four top teams from each group competing to reach the quarter-final matches.
Group A: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela
Group B: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay
The matches will be held in Brasilia, Goiania, Cuiaba and Rio de Janeiro, while the final will be played at the famous Maracana stadium.
Who are the favorites to win?
Argentina are among the favorites to win, although they are no longer playing at home, with Lionel Messi looking to hand the trophy to his team.
The 33-year-old Messi has won 10 La Liga Cups and four Champions League titles with Barcelona, but he is still looking forward to lifting a major trophy with his country.
The famous footballer was on the losing side in three finals of the Copa America, most recently missing a penalty kick in a penalty shootout match with Chile in 2016.
The missed penalty prompted Messi to retire from international matches, before reversing his decision two months later.
Argentina’s victory would put them on a par with 15-times champion Uruguay as the most successful country in the competition.
Although they haven’t lifted the trophy since 2011, Uruguay will be among the most eye-catching, especially given the impressive seasons of strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Brazil, the current title holder, is also among the contenders, as it seeks to win the title for the tenth time, and Neymar hopes to make up for his absence from the winning match in 2019 when he ruptured an ankle ligament.
Who are the stars that competitors should beware of?
The list of players in the Copa America includes the bright stars of the continent such as Messi, Neymar, Aguero, Diabala, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Jesus, Ederson, Casemiro and Markenhose.
There are also many names such as Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, who was the star of the Argentina team in the (Copa America) 2019. The 23-year-old played an impressive season with Inter Milan with 18 goals in all matches, and he has established himself As a playmaker alongside Messi for the Argentina team.
His Inter Milan teammate, Arturo Vidal, 34, is heading to his fourth Copa America with Chile, and he is in good shape, scoring four goals in Chile’s first five matches in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Colombia’s national football team player Luis Morel is one of the stars that will attract attention. Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku, the Atlanta attacking player, have scored more goals in Italy this season, scoring 22 goals in all matches.
The player, Roberto Firmino, will be keen to show his potential at the continent’s biggest sporting event. Despite his disappointing season with Liverpool, scoring only 9 goals in 48 games, his shots were more consistent with Brazil.
Fans of the game will be excited to see Cavani and Suarez lead the attack for Uruguay. The 34-year-old spent strong seasons with Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, scoring 38 goals between them in all their appearances.