The Maracana will have the world’s attention this Sunday… The owner of the house and an ascending guest will meet. Brazil, the ever-candidate and Peru, the pleasant surprise, will dispute an unpublished final of the CONMEBOL Copa America.
The host is chasing their ninth title as monarch of the Americas with an immaculate step, no defeats, no goals conceded in five games, and a big pride by defeating Argentina in the semi-finals.
Peru, twice winners of the continental tournament in 1939 and 1975, had to suffer a defeat against the world’s five-time champions in the group stage to react and come back.
The match, which begins at 17:00 local time (20:00 GMT) and will be directed by Chilean referee Roberto Tobar, will mark the end of a magnificent Copa America.
– In front of their fans –
Brazil can be crowned champions in their temple of football: they returned to the origins of ‘jogo bonito’ with small moves that were enough to mark their way in the first round and then in the direct elimination matches.
The creator of all of this is Tite, the disciplined auriverde coach, who in the blink of an eye redesigned the team’s play scheme and focused on building a solid, supportive and well-managed structure.
“I’m really going to become the coach of the Brazilian national team. There is a popular expression like this: if you didn’t play football at the Maracana then you didn’t play. If you didn’t train at the Maracana, then you’re not a coach. Now I’m going to train at the Maracana with the national team” he said.
Tite recovered the full-back Filipe Luís for the game against Peru after being absent in the 2-0 against Argentina last Tuesday in Belo Horizonte due to muscle problems. Also, Alisson overcame a trauma in the lower back and will be the ‘1’ on Sunday.
Who will not be considered is midfielder William, affected by a muscle injury in the right femoral biceps during the game against the Albiceleste.
“It’s going to be a great final, a very difficult game, we can’t think that we’ve already won, we have to play. A final is not played, a final is won, no matter how it is”, said midfielder Casemiro.
– Peru gets up –
Peru’s performance before meeting Brazil at the end of the group stage was from less to more. A 0-0 draw with Venezuela and a 3-1 victory over Bolivia. However, the game with the Seleçao arrived and it was a hard beat.
The ‘Tigre’ was the architect of the return of the Incas to a World Cup, that of Russia-2018, 36 years after their last participation in Spain-1982. And it was also to raise a team beaten emotionally, which had achieved the passage to the quarterfinals as one of the best third.
“It’s not going to be easy for either team. We got there well, we’re ready to win. Peru is in a position to aspire to a title”, the Argentine coach said at a press conference at the Maracanã on Saturday.
“If I must choose a moment to face Brazil, is this one, because we’ve come from playing against two teams that have strengthened us”, Gareca said.
Brazil: Alisson – Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Alex Sandro – Arthur, Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho – Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Everton. Coach: Tite.
Peru: Pedro Gallese – Luis Advíncula, Carlos Zambrano, Luis Abram, Miguel Trauco – Renato Tapia, Yoshimar Yotún – André Carrillo, Christian Cueva, Edison Flores – Paolo Guerrero. Coach: Ricardo Gareca.