Argentina’s Road to the Copa America Final

Lionel Messi’s side will be looking to regain the Copa America trophy after winning it in 2021.

A custom image of Lionel Messi in front of the Copa America trophy and Argentine flag
When Argentina won the 2022 World Cup on penalties after drawing 3-3 with France in Qatar, there was a sense that Lionel Messi had completed football. He had just won the one prize he had been searching for his entire career and some even suggested he should retire to end his international caree on a high.

Yet he ignored that idea and continued to play for Argentina. Now, the superstar is aiming to retain the Copa America, South America’s equivalent of the European Championships, which is taking place in the United States of America between June and July 2024. Argentina won the Copa America in 2021 against bitter rivals Brazil, ending Messi’s pursuit of an international trophy. The idea that he and his country could win the tournament is not so crazy, despite stiff competition from the likes of Brazil, as well as underdogs Uruguay and the USA.

The 2024 Copa America is set to be better than ever, boasting all 10 South American nations as well as six invited guests. Here’s a look at Argentina’s potential route to the final at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, where Messi could lift his third international trophy in three remarkable years.

Group Stages

Chile, Peru, Canada

Image of Copa America trophy

Argentina will face Chile, Peru and Canada in the group stage. The defending champions kick off the competition against the latter on 20th June after they found a way past Trinidad and Tobago in a play-off. The South American side have only ever played Canada once, winning 5-0 in 2010 when Messi didn’t even play. The match will take place on 20th June at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atalanta.

Moving on, Argentina’s second match will be against Chile. They have played each other almost 100 times and Chile have only won eight of those games. However, two of those in particular scarred La Albiceleste for years. Chile defeated Argentina on penalties in consecutive finals of the Copa America. One short year after losing to La Roja in Santiago, Argentina were undone in the 2016 showpiece. Messi missed a crucial spot-kick, which led to him retiring from international football for a short period of time. However, since then, Argentina have regained the bragging rights. They have not lost since that fateful night – and they even knocked them out of the tournament in 2021 courtesy of a free-kick stunner from Messi. The match in New Jersey looks set to be an entertaining one once again.

However, in the highly unlikely outcome that Argentina finish second in their group, they will probably face Mexico on the 5th July at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington. These two sides met at the 2022 World Cup, which Lionel Scaloni’s side won thanks to a pair of stunning goals from Messi and Enzo Fernandez. Argentina have not tasted defeat against Mexico since 2004, losing just five of the 36 matches between the two countries.

Possible Routes

Likely Team Faced
World Ranking

Win group into QF1
4th July

NRG Stadium (Houston)

Runners up of group into QF2
5th July

AT&T Stadium (Arlington)


Mexico or Peru

Mexico vs Argentina players at the 2022 World Cup

The Copa America works in a unique way in the fact that Group A and B can’t meet teams from Group C or D until the final. Therefore, it is highly plausible that Argentina face a team from the group stages, likely Peru.

If Argentina win their group and then beat likely opponents Ecuador, they will probably face Mexico, who started their journey from Group B. As previously mentioned, Argentina have an impressive record against the latter, yet the country connecting the two main areas of the Americas can still spring surprises. With the likes of Hirving Lozano and West Ham’s unsung hero Edson Alvarez, the country are capable of winning, even if it would come as a shock. A potential match between the two nations would take place at MetLife Stadium on 9th July.

However, if Argentina finish second in their group and beat Mexico in the quarter-finals, then they will potentially play Peru again. The two teams are guaranteed to face one another in the group stages, and it’s easy to imagine that it is Peru’s worst nightmare to play the reigning World Cup and Copa America champions twice in the same tournament, yet it is possible. Containing legendary players such as Paolo Guerrero and Andre Carrillo, they will be full of belief if it does come to this outcome, even if they were to be firm underdogs.


Likely Team Faced
World Ranking

If they go through QF1
9th July

MetLife Stadium (New Jersey)

If they go through QF2


Potentially facing rivals Brazil

Endrick in action for Brazil

Argentina are expected to comfortably reach the Copa America final – and, if they do, they will face bitter rivals Brazil. It is one of the fiercest international rivalries in the world, with every match full of drama and chaos. The last time Brazil beat Argentina was in the 2019 Copa America final, which they won thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino. However, since then, Argentina have not conceded against them, winning three matches and drawing one 0-0.

The 2021 Copa America saw these two teams meet in the final again, yet – that time – Argentina won 1-0 thanks to a 22nd-minute strike from Angel Di Maria to end Messi’s trophy drought. Their most recent fixture was marred by crowd violence as Argentina won at the Maracana Stadium, epitomising the tension whenever they meet. A potential final at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami would be hard to predict, but Argentina would go in as slight favourites due to their recent record against Brazil.

It is also worth noting that if Argentina lose their semi-final, however unlikely that is, they will still have one more match – the third-placed playoff. In 2024, it is likely to be against the USA, Uruguay or Colombia, all of which are separated by just five world-ranking places. But, if that was the case for Argentina, Messi and manager Lionel Scaloni would be bitterly frustrated considering they are firm favourites to reach one of the biggest matches in football.

Likely Opponent

World Ranking

July 14th
Hard Rock Stadium (Miami)

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