Lionel Messi has a chance to make history for himself and Argentina on Saturday as his beloved nation take on fierce rivals Brazil in the Copa America final.
The match will be played a 1am UK time. European interest in the game has taken a detour due to the Euros and especially from an English perspective with the Three Lions facing Italy in the final tomorrow.
However, for South America, this is an interesting fixture beyond one of raw passion for reasons addressed by members of the Brazilian press.
From Messi’s perspective though all he is focusing on is winning. Speaking with Veronica Brunati, she says that Messi would swap all his individual victories to win one title with his country.
“I would swap all my Golden Boots for one trophy for Argentina,” Brunati claims Messi said.
A former teammate of Messi’s will be on the opposite side of the field in Neymar.
The pair used to play together at Barcelona before the Brazilian left for PSG – where he has so far been unable to achieve his main goals of a first Parisian Champions League title.
Neymar has responded to the perspective of some Brazilian media claiming they will be backing Messi to win.
Brazilian SporTV journalist Fabiola Andrade posted an image to Instagram wearing an Argentina shirt explaining her choice to support the opposition of her country.
“Before stoning me in a public square, let me explain: I love Brazil, Brazilian football…I have several Argentine friends. But I’m not going to root for Argentina in the Copa America final because of them, no. I cheer because I love #football and @leomessi This guy needs to win a title with his country’s shirt! For justice!”
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As you can imagine this hasn’t gone down well and Neymar himself took to Instagram.
“I am ‘Brazilian with a lot of pride and with a lot of love. My dream was always to be in the Brazilian team and hear the fans singing,” he wrote.
“I never attacked nor would I ever attack Brazil if they are playing for something, whatever the sport, a model [beauty] contest, the Oscar……… I am Brazil, and who is Brazilian and does it differently?”
“OK, I’ll respect [that], but go to hell.”
Ultimately it could be between Neymar and Messi as to who decides the final.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.