Neymar (L) and Lionel Messi
Neymar (L) and Lionel Messi
File picture

Rio de Janeiro: It has been over 100 time Brazil and Argentina have wet, with the former winning 46, while Argentina not very far won 40 times, with the team sharing the honours 25 time. And it will be their 112 ocassion these two arch rivals clash for the CONMEBOL Copa América, the world's oldest national team contest.

And when they face-off at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the home side will hold edge.

For one, this 47th edition of international football's oldest tournament - older than even the FIFA World Cup - has been played behind closed doors for the first time because of the pandemic.

The meeting of the two heavyweights of continental, Brazil and Argentina have one of the most storied rivalries in international football, meeting more than 100 times in all competitions over the years, including friendlies.

Brazil are looking to retain the Copa America and their bragging rights as they gear up for the high-profile final. Argentina will look to end a 28-year drought in the competition and are willing to play their hearts out for Lionel Messi.

Brazil came into the tournament as the favourites and have largely cruised their way to the finals. They were put through their paces by Chile and Peru in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively and were only able to score a goal in each match.

Hailing Neymar, Messi pointed out what the Brazilian can do individually and asked his teammates to be aware of that.

Incidentally, Neymar and Messi have been part of a successful Barcelona side and have been part of innumerable wins together. It would be emotional for Barcelona fans to see them face off. The last time the two players locked horns was in the 2016 World Cup qualifier, Neymar scored and helped Brazil beat Argentina 3-0. In that game, Neymar scored his first goal against Messi.

This battle is a dash of pepper off the pitch to spice up the rivalry. Meanwhile, Colombia and Peru at will square off on Saturday morning (5.30 IST) at the Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia.

Final live of Sony Ten 2 @5.30am on Sunday

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