Lionel Messi and Argentina will be chasing a first major title in 22 years on Saturday when they face hosts Chile in a dream Copa America final in Santiago.  The three-week South American football showpiece reaches its climax at the Estadio Nacional with Argentina aiming to win their first title since 1993, 12 months after defeat in last year’s World Cup final. Chile are anxious to shed their unwanted tag as the perennial nearly men of South American football, ending decades of hurt by winning a first Copa America crown after nearly a century of failure. Argentina captain Messi has declared himself “desperate” to win an international title after winning every honor at club level with Barcelona. Coach Gerardo Martino said Friday victory for Argentina was almost an “obligation”. “It’s very difficult to imagine what would have happened if we had not reached the final,” Martino said. “In reality the expectations this group of players generates are so great that […]

Argentina manager Tata Martino believes his side may benefit from a number of injuries and suspensions in the Colombia squad ahead of their quarter final clash in the Copa America, tonight. Martino’s outfit face Jose Pékerman’s Colombia side in Vina del Mar in the quarter finals, knowing they will not come up against Carlos Bacca, Carlos Sanchez and Edwin Valencia due to injury and suspension. While Colombia manager Jose Pekerman claimed on Thursday that his squad is strong enough to cope with those losses, Martino says the loss of midfield duo Sánchez and Valencia could be pivotal. “The absences of the two midfielders are especially important for Colombia,” the 52-year-old told a pre-match press conference. “I don’t know if they have players to replace them in the same way. It is clear that one of the two to come in will be Alexander Mejia, but even with differences in personnel their pattern will be more or less familiar. “But we don’t need to worry […]

After an Argentine capitulation and a unconvincing performance by Uruguay, both South American giants have left much to be desired. With the tournament favourites squaring off against the reigning champions, this Copa America might get the shot of samba spice, it’s been quite bereft of. On paper Argentina have the most hair-raising attack line. Flooded with talent such as Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Higuain, Tevez, Pastore and Dybala, Argentina seem to have little to no connection between defence and attack. Labelling their draw to Paraguay a Jekyll-and-Hyde showing, wouldn’t be enough, as it was down right schizophrenic. The frenetic pace of the attack in the first half, seemed utterly absent in the second forty five, as Argentina were outdone by simple pressing and a stroke of luck. This is largely due to a problem the Albiceleste have been unfortunately accustomed to- a Lack of Balance. While this might like a problem of talent upfront versus mediocrity at the back, it is […]

Despite failing to close a two goal lead against Paraguay, Argentina manager Tata Martino insists that his side will continue to play attacking football when they meet leaders Uruguay in Group B clash later today. Argentina manager Tata Martino claimed that his side played the best and worst football of the Copa America in their 2-2 draw with Paraguay on Saturday, but says will not compromise their attacking instincts that saw them blow the two goal cushion as they prepare for a crucial tie with Uruguay on Tuesday. Argentina’s shaky defensive display in the second half has raised doubts about their ability to produce a title-winning performance in Chile, where they are chasing a first major championship in 22 years. Martino was criticised for sending on strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez with Argentina clinging on to a 2-1 lead in their opening Copa America clash, as the Los Albiceleste were frustrated by a late equaliser from Lucas Barrios. Offering his opinion on the criticism, Martino […]