Argentina was supposed to host this year’s edition, but with the increase in cases of corona, the tournament was moved to Brazil to organize it for the second time in a row, and kicks off on Sunday.Argentina won their 14th and last title in 1993, when Diego Simeone was leading the midfield, and Gabriel Batistuta was the team’s top scorer.
Since then, Argentina have reached the final 4 times, all since 2004, but failed to lift the championship trophy, which is painful and unusual for a country that is prominent in football, and has many great players including Lionel Messi.
Last week, Messi said winning the Copa America was “always our dream. No matter what the competition, we always want to win something with the national team.”
“The truth is that the players are very excited, and maybe the older ones are more excited,” he stressed.
Messi will celebrate his 34th birthday, on June 24, so this may be his last chance to win any title with the national team, after winning many titles with Barcelona.
Moving the tournament to Brazil would make things more difficult for Argentina, but it could also give them more motivation.
Argentina lost 0-2 to Brazil in the Copa America semi-final in 2019, in a controversial match at the refereeing level.
The decisions were against her, and she will be looking to grab an opportunity to write a successful chapter in her history, and perhaps revenge, even though she may deny it.
Argentina fell into the most difficult group, as it plays alongside Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, but 4 teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.
“Football is very competitive and difficult, to the point where one ball and one referee error can knock you out of the tournament and we know that,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said.
“Even with the VAR technology, which is supposed to do justice, you can still be eliminated from the championship even if you are completely superior to your opponent,” he noted.
He added, “In the end, eligibility does not mean anything, only the winner is recognized. Yes, we will be among the candidates and we will fight to the end.”
Scaloni has built a strong team, and players such as Di Maria of Paris Saint-Germain, Juan Foyth of Villarreal, and Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan, are participating in the tournament after a great season with their clubs.
Scaloni injected new blood that shone with Argentina, which maintained its unbeaten record in the first 6 matches of the World Cup qualifiers, and appears close to qualifying for Qatar 2022.
Despite everything, attention will once again turn to Messi, and the only question mark hanging in his unquestionable career.