Messi or Neymar. One of the two stars of South American football will win the america cup for the first time. Brazil and Argentina face off at Maracanã Stadium, in Rio de Janeiro, in the final of the tournament, scheduled for 21:00 (GMT), broadcast on TV by SBT. THE Albiceleste seeks to win his 15th trophy. The last time Argentina were champions was in 1993, when they beat Mexico. Already Brazil ―current continental champion― wants to win its tenth cup. In 2019, the last edition, the Canarinho team defeated Peru (3 to 1).
The South American tournament was surrounded by controversy. Brazil was chosen by Conmebol as the host city after Argentina and Colombia declined to host the championship due to the covid-19 pandemic. But the choice of Brazil was surrounded by criticism, as the country had half a million deaths from the coronavirus at the time. With the exception of the final, all games were held behind closed doors and without an audience.
The sanitary protocols defended by Conmebol and the Brazilian Government, which did not allow the public to enter during the entire tournament, were updated for the final. The organization allowed the entry of more than 5,000 fans in the stands, 2,200 Brazilians, 2,200 Argentines and other guests, as long as they presented a negative PCR test for the coronavirus. A few hours before the start of the match, Conmebol announced on its networks that it was detecting “misleading tests” used by fans.
At the entrance to the stadium, the organization allowed crowds of fans and street vendors, many without masks, in long lines that went to the same gate, where tickets were picked up. The entrance clearance caused even more confusion, with shoving and fans forcing their way through. Although promoting crowds not recommended in the pandemic, the presence of a public excited by the final brought an atmosphere of spirit, national team shirts and cheering in the surroundings of Maracanã, something that had not happened in the discredited Copa América.
There are more than 100 years of historic rivalry. Brazil and Argentina have already faced each other 106 times, with an advantage over the Brazilian team, which has 43 wins, 25 draws and 38 defeats.