Another tournament, another shattering defeat, and another round of unfavourable comparisons to Diego Maradona. Lionel Messi was left reflecting on another bitterly familiar failure here Saturday after Argentina suffered an agonizing penalty shoot-out defeat to Chile in the Copa America final. . It was the second time in 12 months Messi had finished on the losing side in a major final following Argentina’s extra-time loss to Germany at the World Cup last year. “This generation is desperate to win a title with the national team,” Messi had said before this year’s Copa America. “As a team, we deserve to win something and it would mean so much after the World Cup where we came so close.” Saturday’s defeat will reignite the debate about where Messi deserves to be ranked in the pantheon of the very greatest players to have graced the sport. For many, his extraordinary achievements at club level with Barcelona over the past decade have already guaranteed him […]

Brazil’s technical coordinator Gilmar Rinaldi says FC Barcelona star Neymar disobeyed instructions from Brazil coaching staff when he confronted the referee after seeing red against Colombia at the Copa America. South American federation CONMEBOLa s disciplinary committee had extended the provisional one game ban for the FC Barcelona star to four games following his behavior towards the officials in the aftermath of Brazila s 1-0 defeat to Colombia. The suspension meant that Neymar did not play any part in Brazila s Copa America campaign. It was alleged in some quarters that the punishment might have been too harsh with the referee’s report failing to mention any physical attack by the FC Barcelona star confirming there was none. However, the player got the ban and Gilmar has now revealed that Neymar’s decision to angrily confront referee Enrique Osses in the tunnel was in direct defiance of advice from his seniors. a I told him to be careful because he is responsible […]

Argentina and FC Barcelona star Javier Mascherano called for calm on Wednesday as the countdown to this weekend’s Copa America final against fierce rivals Chile got under way. Two teams desperate to succeed will collide in Santiago on Saturday with hosts Chile aiming to end nearly a century of failure by winning a major tournament for the first time in front of an expectant home crowd. Argentina meanwhile are burning with desire to win a first title in 22 years, determined that one of the most talented generations of players the country has ever produced does not suffer another disappointment. The high stakes will carry an additional edge thanks to the historical rivalry between the neighboring nations, who in the past have been at loggerheads over various territorial and diplomatic disputes. But the FC Barcelona man was adamant that politics should not poison what is expected to be a highly charged sporting encounter. “I hope that people can understand that […]

Lionel Messi produced a scintillating individual performance as Argentina destroyed Paraguay 6-1 to reach the final of the Copa America on Tuesday. We tell you why exactly should the FC Barcelona star not focus on scoring goals, but, on being the creator-in-chief for Argentina along with two other things we learned from the game.   Argentina thrashed Paraguay to reach the final of the Copa America, hoping to end 22 years without a major international trophy. The team, that scraped through most of their games without really creating an impression, seems to be peaking at the right time as they prepare to face the host. We decided to pick out the top three things learned from the scintillating performance by the world cup finalists. 1 – Lionel Messi Needs To Focus On Creating And Not Scoring Goals For Argentina   The FC Barcelona man tormented Paraguay mercilessly as the favorites produced their best display so far of the Copa America […]

. Lionel Messi produced a scintillating individual performance as Argentina destroyed Paraguay 6-1 to reach the final of the Copa America here Tuesday. The FC Barcelona superstar tormented Paraguay mercilessly as the favorites produced their best display of the tournament and advanced to a showdown with Chile in Saturday’s final. Although Messi failed to end his run of more than 900 minutes without an international goal from open play, he turned creator as Argentina tore Paraguay apart. Goals from Angel Di Maria (2), Marcos Rojo, Javier Pastore, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain completed an emphatic rout for the South American giants. A satisfied Messi was delighted Argentina’s potent collection of attacking talent finally appears to have clicked with Saturday’s final looming. “We’ve been playing well — we knew once we scored one goal, many more would come, and that’s what happened,” said Messi as he collected his man-of-the-match award. “We got an early goal and then found more space, and […]

. Eduardo Vargas scored twice as Chile downed fierce rivals Peru 2-1 here Monday to reach the Copa America final for the first time in nearly 30 years despite stars Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal having a subdued night. Vargas, who endured a miserable season on loan at relegated English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, lashed in a stunning 64th-minute strike as the hosts advanced to the final for the first time since 1987. Vargas had given Chile a controversial lead after 42 minutes, prodding home from close range after the referee’s assistant failed to spot a fractional offside. Peru, who played most of the match with 10 men after Carlos Zambrano was sent off for a reckless challenge on Charles Aranguiz after 20 minutes, came back bravely to force an equaliser through a Gary Medel own goal in the 60th minute. But Vargas, who also had a legitimate goal wrongly ruled out for offside early in the second […]

Chile defender Gonzalo Jara was thrown out of the Copa America on Sunday over his attempt to shove his finger into the backside of Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, the Chilean Football Federation confirmed. A statement said Jara had been suspended for three matches following a disciplinary hearing by South American football’s ruling body CONMEBOL into the lurid flashpoint during last week’s quarter-final. “The Chilean Football Federation has been informed of the suspension for three matches of Gonzalo Jara by the disciplinary committee of CONMEBOL,” the statement said. “We regret this sanction but we will accept it,” the federation added in the statement on its website. The ban rules Jara out of Chile’s semi-final with Peru on Monday as well as the final if the hosts progress that far. CONMEBOL opened disciplinary proceedings against Jara on Saturday, saying the body was obliged to do so after receiving a formal complaint about the player’s conduct by Uruguayan officials. However Chile coach Jorge […]