Argentina won their 15th Copa America on Sunday, beating Brazil at the Maracana stadium (1-0). It is the first trophy won by the Albiceleste for 28 years.
They had been waiting for this since 1993. And the joy of Lionel Messi at the final whistle said a lot about the frustration accumulated by the Argentinians for almost three decades. Deprived of a title for 28 long years, they finally put an end to this drought by winning the Copa America on Sunday. The icing on the cake is that they did it in front of and on the grounds of their eternal rivals, the Brazilians, at the Maracana Stadium.
In order to do so, Argentina had to go through a rough and tumble match, often even at the limit, and chopped up by 41 fouls and 9 yellow cards handed out in 90 minutes. With Angel Di Maria scoring with a superb lob in the first half, Lionel Scaloni's men added a technical touch to the battle, sustained throughout by a sumptuous performance from new Atletico Madrid player Rodrigo de Paul.
After losing five consecutive finals, including four Copa America finals (2004, 2007, 2015, 2016), the Albiceleste finally won a title and reconnected with their glorious past, the weight of which was measured in November 2020 when Diego Maradona died. There is no doubt that el Pibe de Oro has been watching over this team from above and celebrating his Argentina's win in style.
Three of the players in the squad who had taken part in the Maurice Revello Tournament won their first international trophy. Agustin Marchesin, German Pezzella and Alejandro Gomez, already team-mates at the 2009 tournament, made history for their country, as did coach Lionel Scaloni, who also played at the Festival in 1998.
Brazil fail, Colombia third
The Brazilians, on the other hand, failed to win a final that was promised to them. They were too sloppy in setting up their game, too shaky defensively, and were neutralised by an impregnable Argentinian defence. The Seleção players seemed to have run out of ideas and were exhausted by a tyring season.
The Seleção were unable to retain the trophy, having won the Copa America nine times. This failure was all the more difficult to digest as Brazil had won 5 Copa's on home soil. This is a big blow for the former players of the tournament present in this selection, Alisson Becker (Tournament 2013), Ederson (2014), Emerson (2017 & 2019), Marquinhos (2014) and Douglas Luiz (2019).
Colombia finished in third place after their victory in the 'small final' against Peru (3-2). With nine former participants, this is the team with the most players who have been through the Maurice Revello Tournament: Davinson Sanchez (2014), Stefan Medina (2011), Sebastian Perez (2013), Edwin Cardona (2011), Duvan Zapata (2011), Luis Muriel (2010 & 2011), Rafael Borré (2014), Miguel Angel Borja (2013), and the manager Reinaldo Rueda (2000, 2001, 2003).