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Copa America: Argentina's Road to the Final

Angelia

Recent Copa America History

Argentina have won Copa America 15 times in their history, which is the joint-most of any country, alongside Uruguay. They are the only team to have won the tournament three times in a row, between 1945 and 1947, whilst they are also the current holders having won in 2021. They have been successful in recent years, despite only winning once, as they have made it to the final four teams in each of the last four tournaments. They won in 2021, beating Brazil 1-0 in the final courtesy of a first-half Angel Di Maria strike. Before this, their last victory came in 1993, which was a second consecutive win. Three quarter-final finishes followed, before they withdrew from the 2001 tournament.

In 2019, they came third, but they made back-to-back finals in 2015 and 2016. Both finals ended in the same way, losing out to Chile in a penalty shootout. Chile were the hosts in 2015, and prevailed 4-1 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. The same result occurred a year later, though this time they won 4-2 in the shootout.

Key Players

Lionel Messi

Even at the age of 36, Lionel Messi is still the key player in this Argentina team. The forward has the opportunity to become his country’s leading goalscorer in Copa America. He currently has 13 goals, but with five more, he can overtake Noberto Mendez at the top of the list. This will be Messi’s seventh appearance at the tournament.

His club, Inter Miami, will have to navigate life without him whilst he’s away, but the player will be hoping to bring his club form into the tournament. So far in MLS, he has scored 10 goals and provided nine assists in 10 games, leading Inter to first place in their conference.

Messi will certainly add to his record 180 caps, and will be confident in increasing his goal tally of 106, as well as making it three major tournament victories in a row.

Enzo Fernandez

It has been a tough season for Enzo Fernandez at Chelsea, but his value to Argentina cannot be denied. The midfielder has been dealing with a hernia injury for the majority of the season, which he underwent surgery for in April, in order to be ready to play in this tournament.

At just 23 years old, Enzo has already achieved plenty in his international career since he announced himself at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. His introduction off the bench against Mexico in their second game in the group stages saw him score his first goal, the second in a 2-0 win. From then on, he started every game, not missing a minute as he won both the World Cup and the FIFA Young Player award. Since then, he has been a mainstay in the midfield, scoring three goals in 11 appearances. This season, he scored seven times for Chelsea.

Emi Martinez

Another important member of the 2022 World Cup winning squad will hope to play a prominent role in securing another trophy. Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez is Argentina’s first choice, and after winning the World Cup Golden Glove, he provides a strong presence between the sticks.

This season, he helped Villa finish in the top four of the Premier League, securing a place in next season’s Champions League. He ended the campaign with eight clean sheets, only four keepers ended with more.

Lautaro Martinez

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez will be hopeful of bringing an excellent club campaign into the tournament. He will be battling with Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez for the starting striker’s position, but should still play a key role regardless. Alvarez has got the majority of minutes in recent games, but Martinez scored off the bench in Argentina’s latest game against Costa Rica in a friendly. They have sometimes been utilised together, so there is certainly options for manager Lionel Scaloni. This season, Martinez scored 24 goals in 33 games for Inter, as he helped them win the league title in dominant fashion.

Who do they play in this year’s competition?

As they attempt to defend their Copa America title, Argentina will need to advance from Group A. In their group, they will take on Peru, Chile and Canada. The teams who finish in the top two will then progress to the knockout stages.

This year’s tournament is being held in the United States. Argentina will face Canada in their first game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. This will be the opening game of the tournament. Five days later, they will play Chile in New Jersey, before travelling to Miami for a final group stage game against Peru. Unsurprisingly, they are amongst the favourites to win the competition alongside Brazil.

Header logoCopa America - Group A

PosClubPWDLGDPTS
1
Team logoArgentina
1100+23
2
Team logoPeru
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3
Team logoChile
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Last updated 21/06/2024

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