Lionel Messi will have to overcome history to lead Argentina to the Copa America

Everybody wanted a Brazil v Argentina final in the Copa America; now they’ve got one. The former beat Peru on Monday evening in regular time while the latter beat Colombia on Tuesday evening on penalties, respective star men Neymar and Lionel Messi key to both triumphs. They’ll face-off this Saturday evening at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Lionel Messi

It won’t be the first time the two rivals have faced off in a final, according to Marca. The first was also in the Copa America, back in 1937, a game Argentina won. Since then, the Brazilians haven’t lost in finals between the two; two Copa Americas, in 2004 and 2007, and one Confederations Cup, in 2005. Messi played in the 2007 final, a game Brazil won 3-0.

Indeed, the last six times the two sides met in a knockout tie, Brazil won. The selecao have won 42 of the 107 games they’ve contested with the albiceleste, with Argentina winning 40 and 25 ending up as draws. The last time Argentina beat Brazil in a knockout tie was back in the 1991 Copa America, a competition they went on to win outright.

Lionel Messi

The last time Argentina beat Brazil in an official match was in a 2005 World Cup qualifier in Buenos Aires, when Juan Roman Riquelme scored in a 3-1 victory. It’s all down to Messi to step up and deliver Argentina’s first title since the 1993 Copa America, simultaneously killing the ghosts of the Maracana after losing to Germany there in the final of the 2014 World Cup.

Tags Barcelona Lionel Messi