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Messi and Argentina meet Chile again on the stage of the 2016 Copa América final

Messi and Argentina meet Chile again on the stage of the 2016 Copa América final

Messi took a free kick in the corner. Vargas equalized with a header. This was the last duel between Argentina and Chile in a Copa América. Three years later, the world champions and the Chileans meet again, in the second round of Group A of the current edition of the tournament, this time on a stage that brings back bad memories for the Hermanos and their captain.

MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, was the stage for a dejected Messi. The 2016 Copa América Centenario, won by Chile, was a hard blow for the Argentine number 10, who after that disappointment said he would no longer play for the national team. It was his third defeat in the Copa América final (2007, 2015 and 2016). But time passed and football was generous with Messi. Not only did he win the continental tournament in 2021, he also won the World Cup in 2022.

At the moment, Argentina started the Copa América 2024 contest on the right foot with a convincing 2-0 victory over Canada in Atlanta.

“We are in a difficult group, now we will face a very competitive, very good team, and the arrival of Ricardo Gareca also gave something more”, warned Messi.

Argentina has held two closed training sessions since last Friday, one in Atlanta and the other at the MLS Red Bull Nor York training center. Coach Lionel Scaloni is thinking about changing the starting lineup to face the Chilean team at the MetLife Stadium this Wednesday, at 10pm (Brasília time). One of the changes would be the entry of Nicolás González, Fiorentina’s left winger, in place of Ángel Di María, although Lautaro Martínez is also tipped to start playing.

Caution and important embezzlement in Chile

In Chile, not everything is sadness. Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca praised the draw with Peru in the debut, which keeps the team “with possibilities”. Regarding the confrontation with Argentina, Gareca foresees the world champions “taking the initiative” and Chile “trying to take a leading role”.

“That’s what I like about Chile, which takes a leading role on the field. I believe in an aggressive Argentina, as always. This forces us to be very concentrated and attentive on the defensive side, it also forces us to develop our game”, said the trainer.

Gareca complained about the conditions of the MetLife Stadium pitch, where “the ball doesn’t roll in the best way”.

“It’s not the best scenario. What they told me is that the field is dry and, logically, there are uneven terrain due to the preparation for the World Cup,” he warned.

The turf at MetLife Stadium, a modern multi-purpose arena that is home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, is completely synthetic. The switch to natural grass ended recently, last Friday, according to AFP.

Against Argentina, Chile will also be absent due to injury of striker Diego Valdés, who was substituted in the debut against Peru with a muscle problem in his left leg.

Source: Gazetaesportiva

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