United States Copa América in the eyes of everyone and especially Argentina

Now installed in the MLS, Messi leads Argentina on an eternal honeymoon — immersed in a spectacular cycle that precisely began with the conquest of the continental tournament after beating Brazil at the Maracaná stadium in the final of the edition that was played in 2021 This was followed by the Finalíssima that they won against Italy at Wembley in 2022 and then, the highest consecration, after defeating France in the definition of the World Cup in Qatar almost a year ago.

Since his arrival at Inter Miami, Messi has turned upside down a United States tournament that aims to grow in prestige. At the same time, Argentine fans long for the forward to stretch his career as long as possible.

The Albiceleste printed the third star on their shirt and Messi, in a splendorous version after four failed attempts, achieved the only major title he was missing in his formidable career.

“I want to take advantage of all that without thinking about two or three years, which in football is a lot,” Messi said in an ESPN/Star+ documentary as the first anniversary of Argentina’s triumphant march approached.

“Time will tell if I am or not. It is a reality that I am going to arrive at an age that I would not normally be able to play in the World Cup and that is why I said that I did not believe I would be there,” she added. It seemed that after the World Cup everything was over and I was retiring, and quite the opposite: now I want to be here more than ever because after having spent so many years suffering, today when we are experiencing a special moment that I had never experienced before with the Argentina team, I want enjoy it.”

The Copa América enters that equation. Another happiness could encourage him to aim for 2026, when the World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada will expand to 48 countries, 16 more teams than have been competing since 1998.


The oldest national team championship in the world returns to the United States, where it celebrated its centenary in 10 venues. It was the first time the tournament was played outside of South America. Chile was crowned champion by beating Argentina on penalties in the final held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, just outside of New York. Messi ended up crying after sending his shot in the shootout over the crossbar.

In addition to the 10 CONMEBOL teams, the competition — between June 20 and July 14 — will incorporate six other CONCACAF teams and will serve as the launch pad for a succession of soccer tournaments in North America.

After the Copa América, FIFA will bring its Club World Cup to the United States, expanded to 32 teams for the 2025 edition to be played between June and July.


So far there are 14 of the 16, with two CONCACAF places to be defined. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela make up the South American cast. Mexico, the United States, Panama and Jamaica will go to CONCACAF.

Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Honduras will fight for the last two tickets in repechages that will be held on March 23, 2024.


The ceremony to define the groups will be held on Monday at the James L. Knight Center, a convention center in Miami. It will start at 7:30 p.m. local night (0030 GMT) and the presence of all the national team coaches is expected. One who will be in the spotlight will be Lionel Scaloni, the Argentina coach who questioned his continuity after the 1-0 victory against Brazil last month at the Maracaná in the South American qualifiers.

The groups will be made up of four pots based on the ranking positions of the teams.

The first pot will have Argentina (defending title), Mexico (reigning CONCACAF champion), Brazil and the United States (the best classified in each confederation).

The rest was like this:

Pot 2: Uruguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru.

Pot 3: Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Paraguay.

Pot 4: Jamaica, Bolivia, Canada/Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras/Costa Rica.


According to the competition regulations, none of the four groups must have more than three CONMEBOL teams or more than two CONCACAF teams.

Argentina (A), Mexico (B), United States (C) and Brazil (D) will be the seeds.

Everyone is looking askance at Uruguay and Colombia, which under the direction of Argentine coaches Marcelo Bielsa and Néstor Lorenzo, respectively, are putting their foot down and escorting Argentina through the first six rounds of the World Cup qualifiers.

Brazil has just closed a rather pale year – sixth in the qualifying rounds and is waiting for Carlo Ancelotti to complete his contract with Real Madrid so that he can take over the reins of the national team in six months.

“Being seeded doesn’t guarantee you anything. You see the drums and they are all very strong teams,” warned Mexico coach Jaime Lozano. “Soccer has grown a lot in South America, almost all the teams have their players on very important teams in Europe. It is an unbeatable opportunity to make history. “We not only want to be there, but to do things that have not been achieved.”

The tournament will be held in several cities in the United States, it is anticipated that these cities and the calendar will be known soon.

The only confirmed thing is that the opening game — on June 20, 2024 — will be at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The final will be on July 14 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.