Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2015 Contents A55
Saturday, July 4, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
SANTIAGO---Not just the Copa
America will end when Argentina
and Chile meet in the final today.
So will decades of disappoint-
ment for the champion at the Esta-
dio Nacional in Santiago.
Host Chile has never won the
title in the Copa s 99-year history.
Argentina has gone 22 years with-
out lifting a major trophy.
The winner will celebrate an
historic achievement. The loser
will be left wondering how much
longer the title drought will last.
Victory would also be extra spe-
cial for Lionel Messi, who has
thrived with Barcelona for years
but has yet to give his national
team much reason to celebrate. If
Messi can finally lead his team to
the title, he will be silencing many
of the critics who say he has never
played as well with the national
team as he does with his club.
Argentina hasn t won a signif-
icant trophy since the 1993 Copa
America, when Messi was only six
years old. Since then, it has failed
in seven Copa Americas and six
World Cups, with Messi playing
in five of those tournaments. The
playmaker helped Argentina s
Under-23s win the Olympic gold
medal at the 2008 Games in Bei-
jing, but he still has nothing to
show when it comes to the senior
Argentina came close to breaking
through for a major title when it
reached the World Cup final in
Brazil last year, losing 1--0 to Ger-
many in extra time. It was elim-
inated in the quarterfinals in 2006
and 2010. The Argentines lost con-
secutive Copa America finals to
Brazil in 2004 and 2007. In the
2011 tournament at home, Argenti-
na didn t make it past the quar-
"We are stubborn," Argentina
defensive midfielder Javier
Mascherano said. "We keep trying
to win one of these championships.
Hopefully, it will finally happen
on Saturday (today)."
If it does happen, Argentina will
win a 15th Copa America, tying
Uruguay as the tournament s most
Argentina is brimming with
confidence after trouncing
Paraguay 6--1 in the semifinals,
when Messi didn t score but helped
set up five goals, a performance
reminiscent of the ones he con-
stantly pulls off with Barcelona.
For Chile, hosting the event has
given it the best chance yet to break
through for a major championship.
"For a lot of people, it would be
enough to have reached the final,"
said Claudio Bravo, the Chile goal-
keeper and most experienced play-
er ever with nearly 100 caps.
"What could be better than win-
ning the Copa America playing at
Chile has one of its best gen-
erations of players. Argentine coach
Jorge Sampaoli leads a team
including Juventus team-mates
Arturo Vidal and Mauricio Isla,
Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez,
Napoli striker Eduardo Vargas, Inter
Milan defensive midfielder Gary
Medel, Fiorentina attacking mid-
fielder Matias Fernandez, and
Palmeiras playmaker Jorge Val-
They are keen to rub out mem-
ories of four previous runner-up
finishes, including at home in 1955.
"We are committed to reaching
the next level," Chile defender
Eugenio Mena said. "We want to
win this tournament once and for
Chile has the tournament s best
offence with 13 goals in five match-
es. The defence hasn t been as
perfect, conceding five goals, and
will need to improve to keep out
Argentina s imposing array of scor-
"We are not afraid," Bravo said.
"The word fear hasn t been spo-
ken by any of my team-mates.
This is something only (the media)
is talking about."
Chile, which defeated ten-man
Peru in the semifinals, will be
without defender Gonzalo Jara,
who was suspended from the tour-
nament after provoking Uruguay
striker Edinson Cavani by poking
his behind in the quarterfinals.
Vidal, who crashed his car while
driving drunk a day after one of
the group matches, is set to play
after being allowed to stay with
Argentina coach Gerardo Mar-
tino may not be able to count on
defender Ezequiel Garay, who has
been nursing a stomach illness.
trying to end
Argentina's Lionel Messi, and Javier Mascherano, right, jog during a
training session in Concepcion, Chile, yesterday. Argentina to face Chile
in the final of Copa America football tournament today. AP PHOTO
MILAN---The Italian Super Cup
between Juventus and Lazio will be
played August 8 in Shanghai.
The Italian league made the
The season curtain-raiser usually pits
the Serie A winner against the Italian
Cup champion but since Juventus won
both competitions last season, Lazio
qualified as Cup finalist.
Juventus beat Lazio 2-1 in extra time
in the Cup final in May.
It will be the fourth time in seven
years that the Super Cup is played in
China. The match was held in Beijing
in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Juventus is aiming for a record sev-
enth win in the competition. It lost on
penalties to Napoli last year in Doha,
Qatar, in December. Lazio has won the
trophy three times. Serie A begins the
weekend of August 22-23.
Shanghai to host Italian Super
Cup between Juve, Lazio
GENEVA---UEFA lifted key Financial
Fair Play sanctions from Manchester
City and Paris Saint-Germain yester-
day after both clubs met spending
limits imposed last year.
The decision lets both clubs spend
more on player transfers and wages,
Both clubs also avoided being fined
20 million euros ($22.2 million) of
Champions League prize money they
earned last season. Fines would have
been triggered for further over-spend-
ing. PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi
welcomed a "fair and constructive deci-
sion" by UEFA.
"We are now able to be more active
on the transfer market to make our
team even more competitive by recruit-
ing the right talents that our team
needs," Al Khelaifi said in an interview
published on the club Web site.
Last offseason, the threat of further
sanctions appeared to block Man City s
interest in signing Radamel Falcao from
Monaco. PSG also ended attempts to
sign Angel di Maria from Real Madrid.
Both players joined Manchester Unit-
One reward for curbing transfer and
salary spending was that Man City and
PSG can select from squad lists of 25
senior players in the upcoming Cham-
Both had only 21 eligible last season
as part of initial sanctions imposed by
UEFA in May 2014. Then, both clubs
forfeited 20 million euros ($22.2 million)
of Champions League prize money.
Man City and PSG, then the cham-
pions of England and France, were the
two biggest victims of the first round
of sanctions in UEFA s financial project
to cut club losses across Europe.
Both had spent heavily in recent sea-
sons to chase success quickly, after
being bought with sovereign wealth
from the ruling families of Abu Dhabi
and Qatar, respectively.
"The FFP context didn t permit us
to grow as fast as we wished," Al Khe-
laifi said on Friday.
Despite meeting their first targets,
Man City and PSG will stay "under
strict monitoring" to approach break-
even on their football trading as part
of the two-season slate of sanctions,
UEFA said yesterday.
UEFA lifts Man City, PSG sanctions
after clubs curb spending
LONDON---Radamel Falcao has
clinched a deal to stay in the English
Premier League at champion Chelsea
on a season-long loan from Monaco
despite a lackluster stint at Manchester
United rejected the opportunity to
permanently sign the Colombia striker,
who scored four goals in 29 appear-
ances. The 29-year-old Falcao is being
reunited at Chelsea with former Atletico
Madrid team-mates Thibaut Courtois,
Filipe Luis, and Diego Costa.
Falcao says he "can t wait to start
training and help with our aim of
retaining the league title and being suc-
cessful in Europe."
Falcao hasn t managed to reproduce
the explosive pace and movement that
made him stand out during prolific
spells with Porto and Atletico. He does-
n t appear to have recovered fully from
the serious knee injury that ruled him
out of the 2014 World Cup.
Falcao joins Chelsea
on season-long loan
MILAN---After two seasons of not
qualifying for Europe, AC Milan pres-
ident Silvio Berlusconi demanded new
coach Sinisa Mihajlovic lead the club
back into the Champions League.
Two weeks after hiring him, Berlus-
coni officially presented Mihajlovic on
Friday as the seven-time European
champion opened its preseason training
"It s categorically imperative that
Milan return to the Champions League
and Europe next season," the former
Italian premier said.
Since winning Serie A in 2011, Milan
has been in a downward spiral linked
to less spending by Berlusconi. The
Rossoneri finished eighth and tenth in
the past two seasons, failing to qualify
for Europe each time.
Mihajlovic coached Sampdoria to
seventh last season, and appeared for
Inter Milan during his playing career.
The 46-year-old Mihajlovic signed
a two-year contract, with an option
for a third year.
Berlusconi demands AC Milan
return to Champions League
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