The sight of Brazilians cheering on Argentina in international football is extremely rare, but Neymar made an exception after his team defeated Chile 1-0 in the semifinal on Monday.
“I want Argentina, I am cheering them on,” the Paris Saint-Germain star told ESPN. “I have friends there and in the final Brazil will win.”
If the prospect of Brazil, the host and defending champions, taking on Argentina in the final is mouthwatering for Neymar and the neutrals, it provides the Albiceleste with an added incentive to reach a first Copa America final in five years.
As far as ending a 28-year wait for a major trophy, defeating Brazil on its turf is probably as close to a dream scenario as it comes for Argentina and Lionel Messi.
The Barcelona star retired from international soccer after Argentina’s dismal 2018 World Cup campaign, but returned to play for his country and now is two wins away from becoming the first Argentina captain since Oscar Ruggeri in 1993 to lift a trophy wearing the colors of the national team.
After topping Group A with 10 points, scoring seven goals and conceding just twice in the process, Argentina made light work of Ecuador in the quarterfinals, cruising to a comfortable 3-0 win with Messi bagging his fourth goal of the tournament.
Conversely, Colombia underwhelmed in the group stages, finishing third in Group B with four points before prevailing 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out against Uruguay after the game ended scoreless after 120 minutes.
There are several reasons, however, for Argentina not to underestimate Los Cafeteros, who are looking for their first appearance in the Copa America final since 2001 and only the third in their history.
Colombia defeated Argentina 2-0 in the group stages of the Copa America two years ago and held the Albiceleste to a draw in a World Cup qualifier just before the Copa America started.
More importantly, Colombia led Brazil for 70 minutes in their group stage meeting, before ultimately losing 2-1.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.
Argentina takes on Colombia at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília in Brasilia on Tuesday, July 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, while UniVision and TUDN will carry the game with Spanish commentary.
A live stream of the game will be available via FOX Sports, Univision and TUDN’s digital platforms as well as via streaming services fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV and Vidgo.
Argentina is an 8-11 favorite to win in 90 minutes with William Hill and DraftKings, while Peru is a 9-2 outsider.
Neymar is an 11-4 favorite to be the first goalscorer, while the “no” on both teams to score is at 8-13 with William Hill and the “yes” is at 6-5.