Argentina's Lionel Messi is probably an international trophy away from being the greatest footballer of all time. He has an opportunity to achieve that when his country plays against Brazil in the Copa America final this weekend. The final will be played in Brazil and that's the worry for Messi and his teammates as they tend to struggle when they play against the Selecao, especially when the match is held in Brazil.
Photo credit: betting.betfair
Having said that, here are 3 stats that support my claim.
1. Brazil has not lost to Argentina on home soil in 23 years
1998 was the last time Argentina beat the Brazil national team in Brazil. It was a 1-0 victory in a friendly match that was played at the same venue that will host the final. Since then the Selecao has won 7 of their clashes 8 in Brazil while one ended in a draw.
2. Messi is yet to score against the Selecao in Brazil
Messi has scored 4 goals in this tournament, however, throughout his football career he is yet to score against the Selecao when the match is played in Brazil. His 5 goals against Brazil all came in 3 friendly matches played outside Brazil. The first was in 2010, the only goal in a 1-0 victory in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The second was in 2012, a hat-trick in a 4-3 victory at Metlife Stadium, New Jersey. And the last was in 2019, the only goal in a 1-0 victory in Doha the capital of Qatar.
3. The last time Argentina beat Brazil in the final of a major tournament was 84 years ago
The 2021 Copa America final will make it the fifth time both nations will clash in the final of a major tournament. For the previous four, Argentina won the first with a 2-0 victory in the 1937 South America championship which is now called Copa America. While Brazil won the other 3 which includes a penalty shoutout victory in the 2004 Copa America final, a 3-0 victory in the 2007 Copa America final and a 4-1 victory in the 2005 Confederations Cup final.
Another interesting stat that relates to this match is that Argentina has not lost to Brazil in a match that Messi scored. While on the other hand, Brazil has not lost to Argentina in any match that Neymar scored.
Neymar has scored 3 goals against Argentina and like Messi, the goals were scored in 3 different matches. The first two were in friendly matches while the last was in 2016, a World Cup qualification match.
Messi is the highest goal scorer for Argentina while Neymar leads the scoring chart for Brazil. It will be interesting to see what happens.
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