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Canada, Chile and Peru: the thermometers of champion Argentina in group A of the Copa América

Canada, Chile and Peru: the thermometers of champion Argentina in group A of the Copa América

Great contender for the title and current champion, Argentina embarks on a new journey in the United States for its second Copa América title. The tournament was the turning point in 2021 that led to the Hermanos conquering the world a year later. Canada, Chile and Peru will test the Argentines’ undeniable favoritism in Group A.

The Albiceleste, led by a Messi reinvigorated by the Miami sun, will be responsible for starting the 48th edition of the oldest national team tournament on the planet. The debut game is against Canada, a historic debutant in Conmebol’s main event. The venue for the confrontation will be Atlanta, this Thursday. The first round of the group will conclude a day later, when Chile and Peru face each other in Arlington, Texas.

The second round of the group is scheduled for Tuesday, the 25th, with games between Argentina and Chile, in East Rutherford and Peru and Canada, in Kansas City, in the state of Kansas.

On Saturday, the 29th, the third and final round of Group A will be played, with clashes between Argentina and Peru, in Miami and Canada against Chile, in Orlando.

Especially Chile and Peru, absent from the 2022 Qatar World Cup due to their decline after the 2018 World Cup, will test new players in the United States, given the inevitable generational renewal.

Argentina: Messi and goodbye to Di María

2024 will be the last Copa América for one of the best players of all time and the seventh in which he participates. Lionel Messi will turn 37 next Monday and his presence in the 2026 World Cup is still unknown.

Coach Lionel Scaloni gave hints during the tie on how to deal with Messi’s inevitable absence in the near future, which will also be added to that of Ángel Di María, who at the age of 36 says goodbye to Albiceleste in the Copa América.

A trio in midfield led by Alexis Mac Allister, accompanied by Giovani Lo Celso and Nicolás González, with Julián Álvarez as false 9 and Lautaro Martínez in the box, seems to be the formula the coach will resort to thinking about a post-Messi Argentina and Di Maria.

For now, the number 10 is in top shape thanks to his good minutes at Inter Miami and Di María arrives physically intact after finishing the season with Benfica. The rest of the Albiceleste squad forms the basis of world champion Argentina in 2022.

Chile: an old and “boring” acquaintance

Chile won the Copa América as hosts in 2015 and a year later, in the Centenary edition in the United States, they lifted the trophy again. Argentina knows how painful it is to lose finals on penalties, because it was Chile that defeated them in both decisions to win their only two official titles in history.

Both achievements were achieved by the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ of Chilean football, which still has some remnants in the squad called up by Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, full-back Mauricio Isla and strikers Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sánchez will probably use their last cartridges in this Copa América.

Peru: in search of recovery

Last placed in the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup with just two points from six games, Peru is going through its most complicated moment since participating in Russia 2018, its first World Cup since Spain 1982.

Uruguayan Jorge Fossati, 71 years old, took charge of the Peruvian national team at the beginning of 2024 with the challenge of pulling it out of the hole, but he continues to bet on the same basis that caused his predecessor, Juan Reynoso, to be fired. Names such as Paolo Guerrero, the team’s top scorer with 40 goals, Gianluca Lapadula, goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, defenders Carlos Zambrano and Luis Advíncula and midfielder Christian Cueva will return to the team.

Canada: newcomer and unknown

A historic debutant in the Copa América, Canada entered the United States edition through the back door after beating Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 in the Concacaf playoff.

The Canadians participated in the 2022 Qatar World Cup losing to Belgium, Croatia and Morocco in the group stage. Three defeats that added to three others when they debuted in a World Cup in the distant edition of Mexico in 1986.

American Jesse Marsch, 50, has been the coach of the Canadian national team since mid-May, with the versatile left-back Alphonso Davies, star of Bayern Munich and one of Real Madrid’s targets, as his main player.

Source: Gazetaesportiva

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