10 interesting facts before the Copa America Centenario’s big final
(June 24th, 2016) The key final match of the Copa America Centenario, which is celebrating the first hundred years of the continental tournament, is approaching; let’s go over some figures, oddities and details you need to know about the history of the finals and the players of the final clash, Argentina and Chile, that will take place next Sunday at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.
- Chile will play the tournament’s final for the fourth time, while Argentina will do so for the second time. In 1979, it fell to Paraguay; in 1987 was downed by Uruguay and in last year’s edition it beat Argentina in penalty shootout.
- Gerardo Martino, as Argentina’s head coach, has faced other teams led by an Argentine coach ten times, bagging five victories, four ties and one defeat (to Quintero’s Ecuador). Up to the moment, he has won the two clashes against Juan Antonio Pizzi (one in this Copa America Centenario, in group stage).
- Argentina and Chile faced each other 26 times in this competition. Argentina’s team won 20, with six ties and no victory for the Roja. However, in the last clash, which was a 0-0 tie in the nineties, Chileans snatched the trophy in penalty shootout.
- With this spot in the final, Chile (4) is the fifth team with more finals played, after Brazil (11), Uruguay (6), Argentina (6) and Paraguay (5). Many editions, especially the oldest ones, were defined with a final round of “everyone against everyone” matches, and not with a decisive game between two teams.
- This will be the fourth time there is a final rematch, after Brazil vs. Uruguay (1919, 1983, 1995 and 1999), Brazil vs. Argentina (1937, 2004 and 2007), Brazil vs. Paraguay (1922, 1949 and 1953) and now, Argentina vs. Chile (2015 and 2016).
- Argentina is the only squad that has won all the matches of this Copa America Centenario. Chile is runner-up, who has won every game since its opening match, until it was downed 2-1 by Argentina.
- Chile has in its current team 7 out of the 10 players withmore participation in the history of the national team. Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is the player who wore the Roja jersey most times, with 105 games, followed by Aléxis Sánchez (100) , Gary Medel and Gonzalo Jara (94).
- Argentina has the current leading scorer in history, Lionel Messi (55), and the fourth one, who is Sergio Agüero (34). Kun is even with Maradona and only one goal away from the third one, Hernán Crespo (35). The second one is Gabriel Batistuta (54).
- Argentina (18) and Chile (16) are the two top scoring teams in this Copa America Centenario. The Roja is the team with more shots on goal (71), followed by Argentina’s team (60). After semifinals, Martino’s men turned into the team with most passes delivered(2872), leaving Pizzi’s squad behind (2764).
- Copa America Centenario’s big final will be played at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. The stadium is home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets, and has already hosted friendly matches against Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. In this tournament, it has hosted the game between Haiti and Ecuador during the first stage, and the quarterfinal clash between Colombia and Peru; now it will be the scenario of the long-awaited final.