Neymar has said that he will be supporting Argentina in tonight’s Copa America semi-final after Brazil clinched their spot in this Saturday’s South American showpiece.
Brazil overcame Peru 1-0 in the Copa America last night, with Neymar providing the assist for Lucas Paqueta’s 35th minute winner. The semi-final scoreline in Rio de Janeiro matched that of Brazil’s quarter-final win over Chile, which also saw Paqueta net the only goal.
Brazil must now wait for the outcome of the other semi-final between Argentina and Colombia to see who they will play in Saturday’s final.
GOLAÇO! Lucas Paquetá recebe de Neymar e coloca a bola no fundo da rede para abrir o placar! 1×0 @cbf_futebol
?? Brasil ? Peru ??#VibraElContinente #VibraOContinente pic.twitter.com/b7nqNDv7Wy
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) July 5, 2021
Neymar could meet an old friend in the Copa America Final.
A meeting with Argentina would mean a reunion for Neymar and Lionel Messi, who linked up to great success during their time together at Barcelona.
Speaking after the win over Peru, Neymar left no doubt as to who he wants to play in the final, saying: “I want Argentina, I am cheering them on. I have friends there and in the final Brazil will win.”
If the PSG forward gets his wish, it would be the first time since 2007 that Brazil and Argentina have faced each other in the Copa America Final. On that occasion, Brazil won 3-0 with goals from Julio Baptista, Dani Alves and an own goal from Roberto Ayala.
Brazil are looking to retain the Copa America, having won the competition in 2019, but for Argentina, victory would bridge a long gap since they were last continental champions.
A long barren spell for Argentina at the Copa America.
La Albiceleste haven’t won the Copa America since 1993, when their squad featured young stars such as Gabriel Batistuta, Diego Simeone and Fernando Redondo.
They enter tonight’s semi-final in good form, having collected 10 points from four games in the group stage before defeating Ecuador 3-0 in the quarter-final.
Messi, who has never won an international competition with his country, currently leads the 2021 Copa America goalscoring charts with four goals.
Neymar and Messi enjoyed great success at the Nou Camp.
Neymar and Messi were team mates at Barcelona from 2013 until 2017, when the Brazilian moved to PSG for a world record fee. Together, they won two La Liga titles as well as the 2014/15 Champions League, with Neymar scoring in a 3-1 win over Juventus in the final.
A meeting of Neymar and Messi in the Copa America Final on Saturday would see people tuning in from all over the world, as two of the great names of international football go head to head.
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