Leo Messi represents art and football while Javier Mascherano is about consistency and leadership. They have just won a famous treble with FC Barcelona and are now aiming to top a wonderful year by winning the Copa America in Chile.
Neither player has ever won a major international trophy, for it’s now 22 years since Argentina last won one, and that’s despite the team having won two World Cups (1978 and 1986), a Confederations Cup (1992) and 14 Copa Americas.
The last time the ‘albiceleste’ won a title was the Copa America in 1993. Now after a series of disappointments, criticisms and changes in search of a winning team, they are just two wins away from finally adding to their honours list. Alejandro Sabella coached the team to the World Cup Final last year in Brazil, but now Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino is hoping to take them one step further and get their hands on a trophy.
The team topped Group B ahead of Paraguay, Uruguay and Jamaica, and then beat Colombia on penalties in the quarter finals to earn a semi against Paraguay. History is in Argentina’s favour. In 22 meetings in this competition, they have won a massive 18 and drawn the other four, one of which was in the group stage of this very edition.
Argentina has won the South American title a huge 14 times in 39 attempts (1921, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1937, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1991 and 1993). That record is only beaten by Uruguay, who have 15. Argentina have also finished runners-up 12 times (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1959-II, 1967, 2004, 2007). So, a win in Chile would mean Argentina would tie with Uruguay as the nation with the most titles overall in the world’s longest-running international football competition.