Copa America

Messi miles ahead of Bayern and Chelsea stars in Ballon D’Or race

The 2020/21 season has officially come to a close, and it’s around this time when we start to speculate about our award winners. The Ballon d’Or is the most high profile individual award in the game, recognising the world’s best player from the past 12 months. With the season over, we’re now looking at our potential winners. Two months ago, we compiled a list of the leading candidates for the prize. Since then, we’ve had a Champions League final and a summer of international football. Some of the list has aged well. Other parts….not so much (whose idea was it to give Antoine Griezmann an honourable mention?). Anyway, two months on, and we now have a clearer picture of who our 2021 Ballon d’Or winner could be. Lionel Messi The Copa America has tipped the balance in Messi’s favour As things ...

Copa America: Colombia seal third place in thrilling match

It’s almost time for the Copa America final, with South American giants Brazil and Argentina facing off for the crown. Before then, there was one slightly smaller match between Colombia and Peru to decide the winners of the bronze medals. Here is how things played out. Colombia 3-2 Peru Cuadrado celebrates after converting from a free-kick Colombia were perhaps a little bit unlucky not to reach the final, having taken Argentina to a penalty shootout in the semi-finals. Peru were also not far off the final, losing 1-0 to Brazil in the previous round. It was all set up for an exciting 90 minutes. Peru had the better of the first half and were rewarded just before the break with the opening goal. Christian Cueva slipped a ball through for Yoshimar Yotun, and the captain finished to put his si...

Tactical Analysis: How Argentina’s disciplined defending helped them beat Brazil in the Copa América final

After 27 matches of enthralling South American football, we reached the final of the 2021 Copa América, where Brazil and Argentina were set to do battle. The Seleção were the defending champions, and with an unbeaten record to this stage involving just one draw, they certainly were the team to beat. Argentina, on the other hand, had the chance to become the joint-most successful side in the competition’s history with a 15th title, but it would be the first since 1993 as Lionel Messi had never won a major international trophy for his country. An intense battle ensued, with crunching challenges and utterly disgusting fouls flying everywhere, but in the end, Argentina triumphed thanks to the only goal of the match. The standard of football on show was not particularly high for the a...

La Liga chief: Impossible for Barca to keep Lionel Messi without departures

Barcelona must considerably reduce their wage bill in order to keep Lionel Messi, LaLiga chief Javier Tebas said on Thursday, adding that the club would not be shown any leniency when it comes to obeying the league’s strict financial control rules. Messi, Barca’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker, ended his 21-year association with the club last month and is currently a free agent as the Catalans cannot offer him a new deal due to their financial predicament. President Joan Laporta said last month that Messi was keen to remain at the club but giving him a new deal was being held up by the league’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Spanish media reports had suggested LaLiga could relax the rules to allow the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to stay at Barca but Tebas said there was no chan...

‘This is great’ – Gary Lineker reacts to what ‘brilliant’ Villa star has done

Argentina secured a place in the Copa America final following a hard-fought penalty shoot-out win over Colombia last night, with Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez emerging as the hero. Lionel Messi-led side took the lead seven minutes into the game through Lautaro Martinez but were pegged back with 30 minutes to go. Both sides finished regulation and extra-time without a winner, and it was up to Martinez to save the day. The Villa goalkeeper thwarted the Colombians, saving three spot-kicks as Argentina ran out 3-2 winners. BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was impressed with his heroics. This is great. Another penalty shoot out, this time in Copa America, and Argentina win it thanks to the brilliant Martinez. https://t.co/jmY5HxVYdn — Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) July 7, 2...

Former Everton boss calls Richarlison to discuss possible Real Madrid move

New Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has been in contact with Richarlison, a player he is eager to reunite with in Spain this summer. Ancelotti was hired by Real Madrid in June as he opted to leave Everton to return to his former club on a contract that runs through 2024. The Italian boss is now interested in bringing one of Everton’s stars to Madrid with him, as he has held conversations with Richarlison over that possibility. Goal can confirm that a call between Ancelotti and Richarlison happened recently, with the forward currently on duty with Brazil for Copa America. Ancelotti is eager to bring him to the Bernabeu, but any potential talks are in the early stages. Still, the conversation between the two could evolve into an offer for Everton to consider in the coming weeks. The Braz...

Copa America: Brazil knock Peru out to reach final

The Copa America 2021 is almost at its end, with just three games remaining. Last night, hosts Brazil faced up against Peru in Rio de Janeiro, with a place in the final at stake. Here is how the clash went: Brazil 1-0 Peru Brazil reached the final with a 1-0 win This was the second time that the two sides had met in this competition, having been drawn in the same group as each other. In the previous clash, Brazil came away as 4-0 winners, with goals from Alex Sandro, Neymar, Everton, and Richarlison. This time around, it was a much closer affair, as the holders won 1-0. The Selecao had the better of the early exchanges, and star man Neymar would have felt very disappointed not to have opened the scoring on two occasions. He fired wide when teed up by Richarlison, and also struck straight a...

Argentina vs Colombia – Copa America 2021 Preview, Head To Head, Players to Watch & Predicted Line-ups

Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Mane Garrincha is the venue as Argentina and Colombia battle it out for a place in the Copa America 2021 final on Wednesday. Encouraged by a string of impressive displays at the tournament, Argentina enter this clash as favourites to reach their first Copa America final since 2016. Meanwhile, Colombia will have to step up their performances if they want to overcome outsider status and end a run of four matches without a win in regulation time. Suggested article: Copa America winners. Argentina Preview Argentina stormed past out-of-sorts Ecuador in the quarter-finals on the back of Lionel Messi’s heroics, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner taking part in all three strikes during an overwhelming 3-0 triumph. After being held to a 1-1 draw to Chile in the Copa A...

Copa America: Brazil and Peru reach semi-finals

The knockout stages of the Copa America are underway, and they’ve begun with a bang. The first game of the evening came in Goiania, as Peru faced Paraguay. Then it was the big one, with holders and favourites Brazil coming up against 2015 and 2016 champions Chile. Here is how the games went. Peru 3-3 Paraguay (Peru win on penalties) Lapadula got himself a brace The first knockout tie of the competition brought us the highest scoring game, with Peru and Paraguay playing out an absolute cracker. Paraguay took the lead early on when captain Gustavo Gomez bundled in from a corner. But this lead lasted fewer than ten minutes, as Gianluca Lapadula tapped home an equaliser from Andre Carrillo’s cross. Things got a whole lot trickier for Paraguay in the lead up to half time. Lapadula notched his s...

PSG send contract offer to free agent Lionel Messi amid Barca talks

Lionel Messi has been a free agent since this Thursday after his contract at Barcelona came to an end. PSG have taken advantage of the situation to send an offer to Barca’s number 10, who is currently concentrating on the Copa America with Argentina. Since he became a free agent this Thursday after his previous contract at Barcelona terminated, meaning any team is free to sign Messi. According to reports the Argentine is yet to reach an agreement with his boyhood club, teams from around the round are looking to pry him away. Among his suitors is Paris Saint-Germain. ‘AS’ report suggest that the French side has taken advantage of the current situation to send an offer to the player. The Ligue 1 outfit are looking to build add to a set of strong summer reinforcements, as Donnarumma, Hakimi a...

Argentina vs Ecuador – Copa America 2021 Preview, Head To Head, Players to Watch & Predicted Line-ups

Argentina return to action with their first knockout fixture of Copa America 2021 as they lock horns with Ecuador at the Estadio Olimpico Pedro Ludovico on Sunday. Argentina’s quest of winning their first continental crown since 2013 got off to a flying start as Lionel Messi looks to add a first international title to his illustrious cabinet. On the other hand, Ecuador’s hopes of achieving their first Copa America glory face a formidable challenge, especially considering how they played in the group phase. Argentina Preview Argentina made light work of their Copa America group stage campaign, finishing top of the section with three consecutive victories following a 1-1 draw with Chile on Matchday 1. La Albiceleste have now advanced to the major tournament knock-out stages for the 11th time...

Copa America quarter-finals preview: Argentina and Brazil going for the trophy

The Copa America group stages have ended, and we now know our line-up for the knockout rounds. This is where things get incredibly interesting. One poor game, and it’s all over. It’s all about the result. Ahead of the quarter-finals, here are our predictions for the last eight ties. Peru vs Paraguay Can Peru get past Paraguay? Peru surpassed expectations in the group stages. Aside from one 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Brazil, they enjoyed a strong showing, finishing in second place. Paraguay also gave a good account of themselves in their group. They managed to pull off a surprise win against Chile and suffered narrow defeats to Argentina and Uruguay. They finished in third place. It’s a difficult one to call. Both sides have fairly similar records, scoring five in their four group outing...

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