Copa America 2021 final: It is Messi vs. Neymar, Argentina against Brazil

There is an even bigger rivalry before the Euro 2020 final - it's Brazil's Copa America 2021 final.

Copa America 2021 final: It is Messi vs. Neymar, Argentina against Brazil

Europe may be looking forward to Italy versus England in Sunday's Euro 2020 final, but South America has a bigger match. Saturday's Copa America final will see an older rivalry among two more successful countries.

Brazil against Argentina is a classic match.

They first met in 1914, and have been playing together ever since.

They have won seven World Cups together.

These two teams are head and shoulders above their competitors in Copa America this year, and Neymar and Lionel Messi are the tournament's top performers.

Argentina is unbeaten in 19 games heading into the Maracana stadium showdown, while Brazil, hosts and reigning champions have not lost since Argentina beat them at a Nov 2019 friendly.

The timing of this year's final, both in terms of organisational and personnel aspects, is particularly interesting.

The tournament was originally supposed to be in Colombia and Argentina, but Brazil won the tournament due to unrest and COVID-19 surges in Argentina and Colombia.

This tournament is another where Argentina, and Messi, are trying to end a long trophy drought.

Since 1993, they have not won any major titles and Messi has never been awarded silverware by the national team.

Brazil is the clear favourite, and this is not because they are at home and have an even better record in the tournament. They are also known for winning crunch games against Argentina.

They have met four times in finals: three in Copa America, one in Confederations Cup.

Brazil beat Argentina in the Copa America's pre-eminent match in 1937, but they have not won in a showpiece since.

Brazil won the Copa America final in Peru in 2004 and Venezuela in 2007. In 2007, they defeated a fancied side which included a young Messi, who was competing in his first international final.

In the meantime, there has been a major controversy before the final.

Fabiola Andrade, a famous Brazilian journalist in sports, posted a photo showing herself wearing Argentina's jersey. She said that she would choose Argentina over Brazil because Messi deserves a title.

It has sparked huge debates among celebrities, politicians, and players. Neymar used expletives against "whoever cheers for".

Despite this, there was a general disregard for the tournament.

Brazil has reported over 19 million coronavirus cases, with more than 531,600 deaths. The US is second in death toll.

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