How many Copa America and World Cup finals has Leo Messi played in?
Argentina and Leo Messi are on the cusp of participating in the 2021 Copa America final where Brazil await the winners of the second semi-final between Colombia and La Albiceleste.
Lionel Messi scored a free kick and served up two assists as Argentina beat Ecuador 3-0 on Saturday to set themselves up for a Copa America semi-final against Colombia with the winners set to face Brazil in Saturday's final in Rio.
Neymar wants final vs Argentina
Brazil forward Neymar said he hopes Argentina will be their opponents in the Copa America final and has no doubts that the hosts would come out on top against their fierce rivals.
Brazil beat Peru 1-0 in Monday's semi-final in Rio de Janeiro thanks to a 35th minute goal from Lucas Paqueta to book their spot in Saturday’s decider at the Maracana stadium.
The second semi-final between Argentina and Colombia is on Tuesday.
“I want Argentina, I am cheering them on,” Neymar said with a smile. “I have friends there and in the final Brazil will win.”
The last time the two sides met in a Copa America final was in 2007, when Brazil won 3-0 in Venezuela, and a title match between the arch rivals would be a treat for the neutrals.
It would not only pit the tournament's only unbeaten teams against each other it would also be a showdown between two of the best No. 10s in the game, former Barcelona team mates Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Both players have had an exceptional tournament so far, with Neymar recording two goals and three assists, while Messi has four goals and four assists.
Brazil are reigning champions and have home advantage at a tournament that was supposed to be co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia.
Messi Copa America finals
Much has been said about Messi's inability to create his club form with the sky blue and white Argentine shirt and the Rosario born striker has now been on the losing side in three Copa America finals.
2007 was the striker's first taste of Copa disappointment as Brazil were too strong for the Argentine's in Venezuela stomping to a 3-0 win with goals from Baptista, an og from Ayala and Dani Alves rounding off the scoring.
The next heartbreak for Messi came in Santiago as both home side Chile and Argentina played out a 0-0 draw in the final game of the 2015 Copa America. Messi was the only Argentina player to bag his penalty and misses from Huguain and Banega saw Chile crowned as champions.
The following year (2016) in the Copa America Centenario staged in the US, once again Chile and Argentina featured the final and history repeated itself with the game being tied after extra time. Messi missed his spot kick and once again Chile were crowned champions.
So distraught was Messi following the match, that he announced his retirement from the international side only for the striker to reverse the decision some months later.
Messi at the World Cup
Despite having represented Argentina at four World Cup finals, the closest Argentina and Messi have got to securing glory was at the 2014 tournament in Brazil when they faced Germany in the final. A tense affair was eventually resolved by a single goal when Mario Gotze slotted home in the 113th minute after the game was tied 0-0 at the end of regular time.
It's anticipated that Qatar 2022 will be Messi's last tilt at World Cup glory.
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