Current Argentina side is one of the best, Martino says

The Estadio Nacional Julio Martínez Prádanos in the capital city of Santiago is the largest stadium to have been used in the tournament with a capacity of close to 49,000.


The Chile team warms up for a training session before their Copa America final against Argentina; their best-ever chance of winning a first major trophy.

The winners will celebrate a historic achievement. The losers will be left wondering how much longer the title drought will last.

But while some teams might be tempted to adopt a more cagey approach against an Argentina side who tore Paraguay apart on the counter-attack in a 6-1 semi-final drubbing, Sampaoli is adamant his team will not change tactics.

Argentina midfielder Javier Pastore’s contributions to the variety and depth of their attack at the Copa America includes his ability to link up with Lionel Messi even if that means acting like a post.

Argentina have not won a senior tournament since victory in the 1993 Copa America, suffering a two-decade tale of disappointment that reached its climax with defeat in the World Cup final in Brazil past year.

Although Messi helped Argentina’s Under-23s win the Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing, his first major tournament was the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where the team fell in the quarterfinals.

“For a lot of people, it would be enough to have reached the final”, said Claudio Bravo, the Chile goalkeeper a with almost 100 caps.

Messi said he may be saving his goals for the final.

There were not many fans at the Intercontinental hotel in Santiago when the national team arrived.

The Albiceleste will face tournament hosts Chile on Saturday aiming to win a 15th continental title, which would see them equal the record held by Uruguay.

Chile has the tournament’s best offense with 13 goals in five matches.

Playing in front of the home crowd with an unprecedented generation of players, Chile has nearly everything going its way. We have always tried to play and suffocate with our pressing.

“We arrive at the final with excitement and confidence”, Messi said.

“This generation is desperate to win a title with the national team”, Messi told reporters on the eve of the Copa America. “The word “fear” hasn’t been spoken by any of my teammates”. The Argentines were eliminated by eventual champions Uruguay in the Copa America quarter-finals at home in 2011 and lost consecutive finals to rivals Brazil in 2004 and 2007. “They [the media] have spies everywhere and know the training”.

Many in the country felt Arturo Vidal should have been thrown out of the squad for his drink-driving arrest during the group stage, but manager Jorge Sampaoli kept him in because of his importance.


Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has a doubt over defender Ezequiel Garay, who has been nursing a stomach illness.

Eduardo Vargas scored twice including a screaming strike to lift Chila to the Copa America final