Messi against 210 million Brazilians

Posted Wednesday, July 03, 2019 by

Messi against 210 million Brazilians

Brazil host Argentina in the semi-finals of their own Copa America in a tie that could provide some much-needed life and quality to what has been an underwhelming competition so far, and while both teams have their own styles, Lionel Messi will be the standout player of the game.

Messi isn't enjoying his best competition and hasn't scored from open play yet this summer - netting just once from the penalty spot - but the Albiceleste are expecting him to step up against their most fierce rivals at the Maracana.

South America's Clasico has some curious facts hanging over it. Argentina are without an official win over the Selecao since 2004, 15 years ago, playing six times since and losing four of those. Their record on Brazilian soil is even worse, not winning in Brazil since 1964 when they won 3-0.

For Messi, he's not netted against Tuesday's opposition in seven years and has never done so in an official game. But now he has a great opportunity to do so, in the semi-finals of the Copa America, in which he has fallen as a finalist in 2007, 2015 and 2016.

Should the teams be inseparable after 90 minutes, the game will go to extra time before penalties, which wasn't the case in the quarter-finals.

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