The most popular footballers from the South American continent are Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar da Silva. Both have a vast fan following across the world due to their outstanding footballing talents. Without a doubt, these two individuals are the most important players for their respective countries and will make a difference in the Copa America 2021 final, which will be held at the Maracana stadium on Sunday (11th July) at 6 a.m. (BST).Messi and Neymar have been outstanding in this year's competition. Their overall impact on the Copa America 2021 tournament leading up to the final is discussed in this article.
Lionel Messi's Copa America 2021 Record Ahead of the Final
Lionel Messi has been in superb form since the start of the Copa America 2021 competition. He has directed the Albiceleste with wisdom in order to win a major tournament for the first time in 28 years. Argentina have not won a Copa America event since 1993.
They've participated in four South American Championship finals and a 2014 World Cup final in Brazil since then, but have yet to win a tournament. So, this is most likely Messi's final realistic chance to win a major event with Argentina's national team.
Messi has scored goals in a variety of ways in this competition. He has scored from Penalties, free kicks, and a well-executed counterattack. He has assisted his teammates in scoring goals particularly Lautaro Martinez. This young striker found his rhythm in the midst of the competition and earned a spot in the starting XI in place of veteran Sergio Aguero.
Lionel Messi has also shown outstanding chemistry with midfielders Giovani Lo Celso, Rodrigo de Paul, and Papu Gomez. Argentina and Messi have done well because this collection of players gels well together.
Messi has already set a number of records in this tournament, including the most international matches for Argentina, 150 international appearances, the most assists in a single Copa America tournament, and the most six Copa America appearances for Argentina.
Lionel Messi will play most of 34 matches in Copa America history if he appears in the final.If he scores in the final on Sunday, he would become the most international scorer in the South American continent. Messi is now one goal away from equaling Pele's 77 goals in international games.
Lionel Messi’s Copa America 2021 Stats
Matches: 6* | Goals: 4| Assists: 5
Neymar da Silva's Copa America 2021 Record Ahead of the Final
Brazil are the defending champion, and Neymar da Silva has steered the Selecao with flair in order to retain the trophy. He has been in outstanding form since the beginning of the Copa America 2021 competition.
The last time we witnessed a Brazil-Argentina final in 2007. Brazil won that South American Championship with a 3-0 victory against Argentina in the final.
Despite Neymar has only scored two goals in five games, he is the driving force behind Brazil's attack. Neymar's excellent vision and rapport with teammates Lucas Paqueta, Everton, Casemiro, Fred, and Richarlison have boosted Brazil's successful attack on the opposition's defense.
Brazil have maintained their dominance in the midfield throughout the tournament and is arguably the best team in the competition. Led by Neymar, Brazil have found solid options in the offensive half, and finding a space in Brazil's defense to earn a goal will be a difficult task for Argentina.
Neymar has appeared in over 100 international matches for Brazil and is a seasoned professional. Neymar will be even more motivated to help Brazil win their 10th South American championship against Messi's Argentina, as a victory in the final will solidify his position as one of the best players of his generation.
Neymar’s Copa America 2021 Stats
Matches: 5* | Goals: 2| Assists: 3
MessivsNeymar: Head to Head Record
Messi and Neymar have played each other four times on the international level, with each winning twice. Aside from the international arena, the two have only met once at the club level. Messi's Barcelona routed Neymar's Santos 4-0 in the 2011 Club World Cup final.
Messi first met Neymar on the international arena in 2010, when Argentina overcame Brazil 1-0 in a friendly match. Messi scored the only goal in that encounter. Two years later, Messi's dazzling performance in a friendly at the East Rutherford, New Jersey stadium shocked the Brazilian fans. Messi's hat-trick gave Argentina a 4-3 victory over Brazil.
Neymar's Brazil came out on top (2-0) in a friendly match against their arch-rival Argentina in 2014. Messi missed a penalty kick in that match.
The only time Neymar scored against Messi's Argentina in a 2016 World Cup qualifying match, where Brazil won the contest 3-0. As per the above statistics, Messi now has a 3-2 head-to-head advantage. Messi has also scored six goals, whereas Neymar has only scored once.
Lionel Messi has a small edge over Neymar da Silva after assessing who has had the most influence on their national sides in the ongoing Copa America 2021 competition prior to the final. However, no one can ignore Neymar's outstanding performance against Peru in the semifinals, which helped Brazil reach the final. Both Lionel Messi and Neymar will give it their all to win the tournament for their respective countries. Therefore, a dramatic final between these two teams at the famous Maracana stadium is expected.