football mondial, ont une nouvelle opportunité d’ajouter à leurs palmarès déjà bien garnis un titre en Copa America. La reine des compétitions sud-américaines se déroule à partir de dimanche, jusqu’au 10 juillet, au Brésil, dans un contexte particulier en raison de la crise sanitaire.”>
Lionel Messi and Neymar, the two big stars of world football, have a new opportunity to add a Copa America title to their already well-stocked records. The queen of South American competitions takes place from Sunday, until July 10, in Brazil, in a particular context due to the health crisis.
The two stars of South American and world football Lionel Messi and Neymar embark, from Sunday June 13 until July 10, in the quest for a Copa America title which eludes them just as much as a world coronation, for the moment.
The competition, postponed for a year like the Euro due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was finally upheld on Thursday by the Brazilian Supreme Court, despite powerful and numerous oppositions linked to the health crisis, including those of the Brazilian coach Tite or his Argentinian counterpart Lionel Scaloni.
Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, yet one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus with some 477,000 deaths, agreed last week to organize the event after the last minute withdrawals from Argentina and the Colombia, also very affected by the pandemic.
The Covid has already affected two selections, that of Venezuela and Bolivia. On the eve of his entry into the running, eleven members of the Venezuelan delegation, including eight players, tested positive, according to their federation. The identities were not revealed, but the captain of the Vinotinto, Tomas Rincon, announced his positive test and his withdrawal from the tournament, he who had remained, Friday, in Caracas, in isolation.
To compensate for these absences, coach José Peseiro called 15 new players to compete in the competition. They were to join the group on Saturday.
“After having carried out PCR tests on the Bolivian delegation which is in Brazil (…) three positive cases among the players and one in the technical staff were detected,” said the FBF for its part in a published statement. on social networks
Brazil had organized the previous Copa America, in 2019. Even private at the time of Neymar, injured, the Seleçao had imposed itself, as during the four other times when the South American tournament was played on its soil ( 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989).
Brazil has the best infrastructure in Latin America after hosting the 2014 World Cup.
The opening match will pit Brazil against Venezuela at the Mané-Garrincha stadium in Brasilia on Sunday (11 p.m. French, 9 p.m. GMT). The final will be played on July 10 at the Maracana Stadium.
This particular climate, the star of Barça Lionel Messi, who will celebrate his 34 years on June 24, will try to ward off the fate which persists against him in this Copa America, with three finals lost (2007, 2015, 2016), both last on penalties against Chile.
A coronation at the Maracana stadium in Rio would also be a great revenge for the captain of the Albiceleste, who was beaten there in the final of the 2014 World Cup by Germany (1-0 ap).
But the Argentine selection has not won an international competition for 28 years and has multiplied the gross defensive errors in recent times.
Prophet in his country?
On home soil, defending champion Brazil will once again be the big favorite. With nine titles, he is second only to Uruguay (15) and Argentina (14).
La Seleçao flies over the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with six wins in as many matches, far ahead of Argentina (2nd with three wins and three draws).
Coach Tite has been able to strengthen his defense, while retaining the offensive freshness of exceptional players like Neymar (PSG), who has won only one Olympic title in the selection, Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) or Gabriel “Gabigol” Barbosa ( Flamengo).
With Brazil, the host country, and Messi’s Argentina, Uruguay will be the other title contender with their two formidable scorers Luis Suarez (Spanish champion with Atlético) and Edinson Cavani (Manchester United).
For his part, the coach of Colombia, Reinaldo Rueda, bet big by dispensing with the services of Everton’s attacking midfielder, James Rodriguez.
Chile, crowned for the first time in its history in 2015 at home, then again the following year in the United States, seems for its part to arrive at the end of a cycle and will undoubtedly have a hard time finding a A worthy successor to the generation of Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez (both Italian champions with Inter), who will however still be present in Brazil.
Peru, finally, vice-defending champion, is in total reconstruction and should not be able to repeat its performance of 2019.
The ten South American countries will be divided into two pools of five: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay will face each other in Group A; Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela in group B. The top four from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.