Argentina face Chile tomorrow in another Copa America Centenario final, a repeat of 2015 showdown where the defending champions, Chile defeated their South American arch rival and lifted the trophy on own soil.
Last year, both countries battled to a 0-0 draw that was eventually determined in a penalty shootout that saw the Albiceleste implode after a few shooters. That team had found its best form in the run-up to that match but was disappointed for a second straight year.
This year’s Argentina is much the same team but has found another gear, wiping away the competition on its way to the final. At the core of it all has been Lionel Messi, who is looking to save his international legacy.
Messi, turning 29 next month, the Barcelona superstar has not won a single trophy with Argentina outside of the Olympics gold and U20 FIFA world cup.
He has been in three finals and has been a monster in this tournament, scoring five goals and assisting four others, so there should be no excuses this time around for the best player in the world.
For Arsenal hit man, Alexis Sanchez who has won his 100th cap for country and his team mates have gotten better and better as this tournament has evolved.
The 2-1 loss to Argentina at the outset of the tournament is the lone blemish for the defending champions, which cruised through the knockout rounds with solid wins over Mexico and Colombia.
The Colombia win, a 2-0 victory, was not as pretty as 7-0 win over Mexico, but showed a team that could strike quickly and defend effectively, even without its best midfield star.
Soccer pundits believe that this Lionel Messi’s moment. The Barcelona superstar has been waiting an eternity to add an international trophy to his legacy and this is the third straight year that he has made a final. This is undeniably the best team he has had and he has come into this tournament in his best form to date.
Argentina has dominated Chile throughout their respective histories winning 59 times and losing only seven. There have also been 22 draws.
While Argentina have been succeeding, Sergio Aguero, who is arguably one of the most dangerous scorers in the Barclays Premier League, has been waiting on the bench for an opportunity just to get a start.
But it all comes down to midfielder Lionel Messi, who is the motor of La Albiceleste. The best all-around player on the planet, he is an elite scorer and distributor as he’s shown throughout this tournament with five goals and four assists.
Messi so far has surpassed Gabriel Batistuta’s 54-goal haul for La Albiceleste to net his fifth of the competition with a stunning free-kick past USA’s Brad Guzan.
Fox Soccer showed Argentina’s defense has also been resolute this entire tournament as it has given up just two goals. If there was a team, though, that could ask questions of Argentina, it’s Chile, which defeated La Albiceleste in the 2015 Copa America final in penalties.
Like Argentina, Chile is loaded with dangerous scorers, led by Eduardo Vargas, who has a tournament-best six goals.
He’s teamed up brilliantly with Alexis Sanchez, who has three goals of his own this tournament. They will also receive a boost with Arturo Vidal’s return in the final. Vidal was suspended for the semifinal against Colombia due to yellow-card accumulation.
Its defense has been solid as of late just like Argentina’s. After allowing four goals in its first three games, Chile has shut out Mexico and Colombia, which should be a confidence booster heading into tomorrow game.
So if anything was guaranteed about the Copa America Centenario final, it is that there are countless players who hold game-changing capabilities, which should make for a memorable match at MetLife Stadium.

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