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Copa América Daily: Coutinho stock rises, Messi ready for debut

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The hosts dominated, and the other favorites take the pitch

Brazil v Bolivia: Group A - Copa America Brazil 2019 Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The 2019 Copa América has begun! I know Barcelona fans are really mad about everything right now, but as a football fan this should be an awesome tournament. And it started with a big win from the hosts: Brazil dominated from start to finish against Bolivia on Friday night, and the Seleção won 3-0 with ease against the worst team in the group.

If you want Brazil to win, you weren’t exactly encouraged by the performance. They lacked creativity in the final third, they were slow in possession, and despite the clean sheet we still don’t know how good their defense can be since they weren’t tested at all against such a bad team. But if you’re a Barça fan, you’re happy: Philippe Coutinho was awesome all game, and whether he stays at the club or not, this could be the start of a great tournament run that either increases his transfer value or improves his confidence when he returns to Catalonia.

Someone with no issues of transfer value or confidence in Catalonia is Lionel Messi, who makes his debut on Saturday against Colombia in what should be the best game of the group stage. In such a wide open tournament with no real favorites and what is actually a nice team and structure around him, Messi is in a much better position than we thought he’d be when he joined the Argentina camp two weeks ago, and a big win against a very good team and a defense that includes former Blaugrana Yerry Mina could send a message to the rest of the tournament.

Argentina’s lineup has already been confirmed by manager Lionel Scaloni: Armani; Saravia, Pezzella, Otamendi, Tagliafico; Lo Celso, Rodríguez, Paredes, Di María; Messi, Agüero. It’s a good team that can switch formations with ease thanks to Lo Celso and Di María’s versatility, and the defense looks strong for the first time in a while, on paper.

Barça fans always want Messi to do well and are usually disappointed. This time, though, he and his team might actually be able to do something special.


Day 1 Scores

BRAZIL 3-0 BOLIVIA

Goals: Coutinho (50’, 53’), Everton (85’)

Day 2 Schedule

Venezuela vs Peru (9pm CET, Saturday)

Argentina vs Colombia (12am CET, Sunday)