After a month of competition, it all comes down to this as Brazil face Argentina in the Copa America Final on Sunday at 1am (UK time).
The hosts have won consecutive 1-0s in the knockouts against Chile and Peru to reach the showpiece at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, while Argentina thrashed Ecuador before sneaking into the final round after a penalty shootout triumph over Colombia in the semis.
How to live stream Brazil vs Argentina online:
bet365 are live streaming Copa America fixtures online this summer. You can currently access fixtures being live-streamed on the bet365 platform by following the steps below:
- Go to bet365 via this link
- Register for an account (this could also earn you up to £100 in free bet credits, though terms and conditions apply and you have to be over 18)
- Make a deposit to unlock the live stream sections of the site
- Head to the live stream section of the site
- Watch your chosen game live
NB: To watch, customers must have a funded Sports account or have placed bet within last 24 hours. 18+ | T&C’s Apply | Gamble Responsibly | Geo restrictions apply (see here for a full list of excluded countries).
Where to watch Brazil vs Argentina on TV:
- UK: BBC iPlayer & BBC Red Button
- US: Fox Sports 1 & Univision
Scoreline prediction: Brazil 1-2 Argentina
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Brazil vs Argentina build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
The reigning champions of Copa America, Brazil, return to the stadium where they triumphed last, beating Peru 3-0 in the 2019 installation of South America’s flagship competition. Tite will unquestionably harbour aspirations of retaining his crown, and by doing so he would become only the third-ever manager to win successive Copa Americas. A triumph for Brazil would take their total into double digits, closing in on Argentina (14) and Uruguay (15).
Of course, for Argentina the narrative remains the same: will Lionel Messi win silverware with his country? The Ballon d’Or magnet has reached four finals with La Albiceleste during his career, including three in this competition; his first is a repeat of this fixture, with the Barcelona legend losing 3-0 to Brazil in 2007. Since then he has lost out in the 2014 World Cup final, and successive Copa Americas in 2015 and 2016. Will this finally be his moment for Argentina?
- Brazil (vs Peru): Ederson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Silva, Lodi; Casemiro, Fred, Everton, Paqueta, Neymar; Richarlison.
- Argentina (vs Colombia): D Martinez; Molina, Pezzella, Otamedi, Tagliafico; Rodriguez, De Paul, Lo Celso; Gonzalez, Messi, L Martinez.
Gabriel Jesus, who scored and assisted in Brazil’s last final win against Peru in 2019, has been issued a two-game suspension by South America’s governing body CONMEBOL after his flying kick caught Chile’s Eugenio Mena. The Manchester City forward was shown a straight red in the quarter-final win over Chile and has already missed the semi-final against Peru, but will now serve out the second game of his ban for the final.
Scaloni: Messi has nothing to prove
A lot of the attention in the build up to the 2021 Copa America final has been about Lionel Messi and whether he can finally win a major trophy with Argentina. The Barcelona immortal has won everything at club level, from the Champions League to Ballon d’Ors aplenty, but international silverware has continued to elude him.
There has been heartbreak along the way and he briefly retired from international football after his last Copa America final defeat, before reversing that decision. So, now is the perfect and possibly final opportunity for him to finally get the monkey off his back, exorcise the ghosts from those previous showpiece slip-ups, and firmly etch his name in Argentina folklore.
But for some, the final also gives Messi an opportunity to add another trophy to his “battle” with Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest footballer of all time – not something either player will really care about, fought between their two fan groups.
In 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo helped Portugal win Euro 2016 and they later added the 2019 Uefa Nations League, giving the Juventus forward the edge in the eyes of fans. Messi’s lack of trophies has been a stick used to beat him by opponents. At Copa America 2021, Messi has been integral to Argentina’s run to the final, scoring four goals and recording five assists, being directly involved in 81.8% of their 11 strikes.
But Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni insists Messi has nothing to prove ahead of the final and will continue to be the best football in history regardless of the result against Brazil.
“Win or don’t win, he will continue being the best footballer in history, he doesn’t need to win a title to demonstrate it,” he told Marca.
“Obviously, we want to win because we haven’t made all this effort not to break the bubble.
“In the background, whether Leo wins or doesn’t, he has already demonstrated that he is the best in history, and even the opponents recognise it.”
Neymar hits out at section of Brazil fans
With the number of Messi fans across the world, Argentina will have more supporters for Sunday’s final than those who have links to the country. These fans come from all over the world, but also include people from Brazil who are reportedly set to go against their country this weekend for Messi.
Brazil vs Argentina is one of the biggest rivalries in international football and not one to take lightly, especially when choosing to go against the nation of your birth or residence. But it’s going to happen, with one Brazilian journalist announcing their intention to back Messi when he faces Brazil.
And it hasn’t gone down well with the likes of Neymar and Thiago Silva, who have all come out to criticise those fans,
“I am Brazilian with a lot of pride and with a lot of love,” Neymar wrote on Instagram.
“My dream was always to be in the Brazilian team and hear the fans singing. I never attacked nor would I ever attack Brazil if they are playing for something, whatever the sport, a model [beauty] contest, the Oscar……… I am Brazil, and who is Brazilian and does it differently?”
“The rivalry is very big. Since I’ve known myself for people, this rivalry is already in my blood,” Silva added, talking to reporters.
“So here is our indignation, the lack of understanding of why people think about supporting Argentina, especially against Brazil.
“Supporting Argentina against France or other teams in another league is acceptable, but in a Brazil v Argentina it’s kind of unthinkable for us, who have had this rivalry since we were born.”