On July 6, Brazil won its ninth Copa América trophy at home with a 3-1 victory against Peru in the Maracaña Stadium. The fans and the bettors were ecstatic to show that they could win without superstar Neymar. The latter suffered an ankle injury, which effectively ruled him out of the tournament. Commentators remarked that it was maybe Neymar’s virtuoso, yet personal style of playing, that kept the team away from the title in the previous editions of the Copa. This is the Seleçaõ’s ninth title, but the team had not made it past the quarterfinals since their victory against Argentina in 2007. This year, the team won with three goals, one of them being a penalty.  The bets are now open as to whether Tite’s coaching will be as prolific when the superstar makes his comeback.

This year’s edition will certainly remain a reference for bettors and fans all over the world, who will be able to bet on the 2020 Copa America, co-hosted by Argentina and Ecuador, as well as the World Cup Qualifiers. If you cannot wait until next year but want to try your luck in the meantime, head to casinorange.com and give it a go.

Surprising developments

Brazil’s victory came after a series of disappointing matches by the favourites in the early stages of the competition. The quality of playing was so low that even the Seleçaõ was booed by their home crowd on a few occasions in the group stages. Three of the four quarter-finals matches ended in penalty shootouts after scoreless games.

The refreshing surprise came from Peru. La Blanquirroja astonished commentators and rewarded bold bettors as it climbed its way to the final game. After eliminating Uruguay – the most titled team in the history of the Copa– Peru thrashed two-time defending champion Chile in a sweeping 3-0 game. This was hard to believe for everyone, as Chile had defeated Peru in seven of their last eight encounters. Just last year, Peru appeared for the first time on the global stage since 1982, and gave a disappointing performance in the Russian World Cup.  Five weeks before the final, Peru was beaten 5-0 by Brazil. Even though the team lost this Copa America, we can expect them as a refreshing presence in the next World Cup qualifier.

Messi’s punishment

Argentinian star Lionel Messi provided for the dramatic side of the cup.  In the third-place match against Chile, when given a red card for an altercation with Chile’s Gary Medel, the Argentinian superstar lashed out. He roared that the tournament was fixed in favour of Brazil and refused to collect his bronze medal. His outburst over alleged “corruption” creeping in the Copa earned him a $1,500 fine and a one-match ban by CONMEBOL. He will therefore not be able to play Argentina’s next World Cup qualifier. Most see this measure as a very light slap on the wrist for the estimated $400 million-worth player. Messi’s mood had already drawn attention during the competition: he complained about bad field conditions and claimed that the ball looked like a “rabbit.”

Messi’s remarks did not help the Argentinian team, which failed once again to break their title drought, ongoing since 1993. This year, Argentina was beaten by Brazil in the semi-final, with Gabriel Jesus and Firmino scoring goals for the home team and Messi only managing to hit the post.

What we can say for the future

We are all impatient to see how Tite’s tactics of defensive playing will be conjugated with Neymar’s offensive qualities. The 2019 Copa final led to the same conclusion as the 2018 World Cup: a stable defense makes today’s teams win titles. The surprise that came from Peru showed us that smaller teams could make the difference if they manage to reach the penalties.