When was the last time Argentina and Brazil won the Copa América?
Argentina take on Brazil in this year's Copa América final, but how have the sides fared in the tournament in recent times?
Argentina take on Brazil at Maracanã Stadium on Saturday night in an occasion that will be much more than just Messi versus Neymar. This is one of the most intense rivalries in international football. Going back almost a century ago, the sides met in 1925 in what was then known as the South American Championship. The final of the competition was played on Christmas Day in Buenos Aires. Nasty scenes on the day saw the two nations wait 12 years to play again and renew the rivalry between the two football-loving countries.
Copa América success for Brazil
On Saturday, Brazil will be playing their seventh final in the last 11 editions of the Copa América, winning on their most recent five appearances in the showpiece game (1997, 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2019). Their last defeat in a Copa América final was in 1995, when they lost to Uruguay in a penalty shoot-out.
The Seleção have not lost a knockout match at the Copa América since 2001, when they suffered a 2-0 loss against Honduras.
Messi's missing piece
Lionel Messi holds the records for most caps and goals for Argentina, and his career at club level with Barcelona has ensured his legacy will be intrinsically linked to the sport for the rest of time. Arguably the greatest player of all time, many still question his career as he has not yet won a single major title with Argentina. The Barcelona captain has some underage success, as he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.
Three years later, he tasted glory again, this time at the 2008 China Olympics. Joined by Sergio Agüero, Riquelme and Ángel Di MarÍa, they beat Brazil in the semi-final and defeated Nigeria in the last round of the tournament.
There remains a niggling frustration with respect to his time with Argentina, given he is yet to win a major international tournament with them. It is arguably the final piece of the puzzle and the one thing that separates him from the others in the 'greatest of all time' debate.
Messi has scored on five occasions against this weekend's opponents Brazil, making them his joint second-favourite opponent after Ecuador (six goals). It is not that Messi has not come close - this will be his fifth major senior final with Argentina, and he's lost the previous four.
Argentina will be playing their sixth final in the Copa América since 1993. It will be the third time in this period that they have played for the title against Brazil, failing to win against them in the past two deciders between the teams. The last time Argentina won the tournament was back in 1993, when they defeated Mexico 2-1 in Ecuador.
Brazil 2019 winners
Reigning champions Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in Brazil in the 2019 edition of the competition. Goals from Everton, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison gave Brazil victory and their ninth Copa América success.
Brazil are reigning champions and have home advantage at a tournament that was supposed to be co-hosted by Argentina and Colombia.
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