What happens when an unstoppable force meets another unstoppable force? My guess is absolute carnage, but weâ€™ll find out for sure when Argentina and Chile face off in the Copa America Centenario final on Sunday.
In a rematch of last yearâ€™s cup in Chile, the Argentines are looking for some sweet revenge on a Chilean squad they already beat once in this tournament.
Hereâ€™s a look at both finalists before it all comes to an end in mere hours.
Leo locked in
If that 19-minute hat trick against Panama a couple weeks back wasnâ€™t enough evidence that Messi has laser-like focus on winning this tournament, then how about that masterpiece of a free-kick against the United States on Tuesday for good measure?
No matter how much of a contrived, money grab this tournament was, Messi, and those other guys on Messiâ€™s team, want to snap a 23-year trophy drought for Argentina. The greatest soccer player of our generation â€“ maybe even of all generations â€“ can finally win a trophy for his home country. He came close in 2014, losing 1-0 in extra time to Germany in the World Cup final, and again in 2015, losing 4-1 on penalties to Chile in the Copa America.
Messi is at the top of his game at the moment. There arenâ€™t any lingering injuries, no Carlos Tevez and heâ€™s pretty far from Argentina, just the way he likes it. With Messi playing like the Barcelona badge is on his chest, the Copa America is likely going back to Argentina.
Yes, Argentina already beat Chile once, but the Chilean team that lost 2-1 to Argentina in the first week of the tournament is not the same one taking the field in New Jersey on Sunday.
Todayâ€™s Chile squad is one without mercy; this team is on a relentless mission to rip you of your nationalistic pride. Sure, Argentina is the favorite, but Chile doesnâ€™t care about favoritism. Chile will risk it all and they will chase down your center backs like a pack of lions hunting down a baby gazelle. How good are Ramiro Funes-Mori, Nicolas Otamendi, Gabriel Mercado, Javier Mascherano and Marcos Rojo when Alexis Sanchez, Edu Vargas, Edson Puch, Arturo Vidal and Charles Aranguiz are in their personal space for 90 minutes?
Chileâ€™s intensity paid off in the 7-0 obliteration of Mexico and the 2-0 win over Colombia. They just need to do it one more time.