The final of the 2015 Copa América will take place on Saturday 4th of July. It will be contested between hosts Chile and World Cup runners-up Argentina, at the Estadio Nacional, Santiago.
The Tournament dates back to 1975. Chile will be hoping to lift the trophy for the first time. Argentina have won it on two previous occasions, but not since 1993. This will be Chile’s third Copa América final, and Argentina’s fifth. Both teams will be expecting to come out victorious, in what should be a tightly fought contest.
Chile will have home advantage, which could prove to be a key factor. They qualified with ease from the group phase, scoring ten goals in just three games and winning two of their three matches, a 3-3 draw with Mexico the exception.
They then beat Uruguay 1-0 in the quarter finals, in a hard fought and controversial game. The semi finals also proved to be a tough encounter, but a 2-1 victory over Peru booked their place in the final.
Argentina were far from spectacular in the group phase. They threw away a two goal lead against Paraguay; the game ended 2-2. Two 1-0 victories over Uruguay and Jamaica respectively sent them through as group winners.
They could so easily have been eliminated in the quarter finals by Colombia. The game ended 0-0. Argentina went through on penalties, but were fortunate to do so. In the semi final we saw what Argentina are capable of; they defeated Paraguay 6-1 in a a world class display from a world class team.
So here we are, awaiting the final between two of the finest teams in South America. Both have a realistic chance of lifting the trophy. Who will come out victorious?
Chile build their team around hard work, and a never say die attitude. They will fight for every ball until the very last second, just like they did at the previous World Cup. They also possess some quality players, players who can change a game in the blink of an eye.
Alexis Sanchez is Chile’s most important weapon. He was incredible in his first season with Arsenal. He has pace, power and an eye for goal. Argentina will be wary of his threat. Arturo Vidal is another world class player. The central midfielder epitomises everything that is good about his team. He is one of the most complete players in world football. They also have the current top scorer in the competition, Eduardo Vargas. He didn’t have the best season for his club, but he has proven he can be a match winner for his country. Charles Aranguiz is another excellent player.
Argentina possess some of the best players in the world. They have shown that they can battle to victory, but their natural game will be to attack the opposition. The 6-1 victory over Paraguay shows just what they are capable of.
We have to start with the maestro, Lionel Messi. He is the focal point of all of his teams attacks. He can score at any time, in any game. If he isn’t scoring, he will likely be assisting his team mates, just like he’s been doing throughout this tournament. Sergio Aguero is one of the best strikers in world football, he will be a huge threat in front of goal. He will be hoping to add to the three goals which he currently has. Although Angel Di Maria has had a poor year for his standards, he is proving that he is a big game player for his national side. Finally, Javier Mascherano is a huge player for Argentina, he will be hoping that his leadership and determination will be enough to secure victory for his country.
So who will win? On paper, you would have to go for Argentina. But Chile will be no pushovers. With home advantage, combined with their determination and attacking philosophy, they have a chance. I think it will be a very close game; maybe only a goal either way. I’m going for a 2-1 win for Argentina. For me, Messi is the difference.