Voz media US Voz.us

Copa America and Euro 2024 in the final stretch: meet the semifinalists

Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia or Canada will be the American champions. Spain, France, the Netherlands or England, the European champions.

EURO 2024(Cordon Press-Voz Media)

Published by

The Copa América and Euro 2024 are entering their final week. Starting this Tuesday, the semifinals will see the four top-performing national teams in each competition battle for a spot in the final and a chance to etch their names on the trophy.

On the American side, Argentina or Canada and Uruguay or Colombia will compete in the final for the championship. On the European side, Spain or France and the Netherlands or England will be the two finalists.

A clear favorite to win the Copa America

Of the four teams still in the Copa America, Argentina is the overwhelming favorite to win the trophy in blue and white. It is, along with Uruguay, the most successful franchise in the competition, with 15 wins to its credit and 14 runner-up finishes.

The Albiceleste, the reigning world champions, made their status as major contenders clear during the group stage, racking up three wins in three games (against Canada, Chile and Peru) and without conceding a single goal. From having had no problems in the first part of the Copa América, they went from being in trouble in the quarterfinals against Ecuador. In this game, they had to make the most of their chances and achieved the ticket to the semifinals in a penalty shootout. Lautaro Martinez, who scored four of the six goals scored by the Argentines so far, and Emiliano Dibu Martinez, with a stellar performance against the Ecuadorians, are putting in the best performances of the Argentine squad.

Argentina will face Canada again, as in the first day of the group stage. On that occasion, the team coached by Lionel Scaloni won 2-0, with goals by Lautaro Martínez and Julián Álvarez. Now, the Canadians will be looking for revenge and a surprise, knowing that they are far inferior to their opponents. Their main motivation? To be the first North American national team to win the Copa America.

In the first round, Canada, under the tutelage of American coach Jesse Marsch, finished second in Group A thanks to four points from a win against Peru and a draw against Chile. Then, in the quarter-finals, they got rid of Venezuela, who had reached that round undefeated, in the penalty shootout. The Argentines will have to take into account players like Alphonso Davies, the star of the Canadian team.

A more even match

On the other side of the draw we find a more evenly matched duel than the one described above: Uruguay Vs. Colombia.

Of the other three semifinalists, if there is one team that can question Argentina's favoritism, it is Uruguay. The squad coached by Argentine Marcelo Bielsa has 15 Copa América titles to its name, the same as the national team of its neighboring country.

With players such as Fede Valverde, Darwin Núñez, Ronald Araujo or veteran Luis Suárez, the Celeste swept past Panama and Bolivia in the group stage, while they narrowly defeated the hosts, the United States. In the quarterfinals, the Uruguayans beat fellow title contenders Brazil on penalties.

Facing them were the Cafeteros. Colombia will once again appear in the semifinals, as it did in the last edition of the Copa America, with the aroma of being the shadow candidate. The men coached by Argentine Nestor Lorenzo have shone on the pitch, with the resurgence of their captain, James Rodriguez, and with the remarkable performance of other players such as Luis Diaz.

Costa Rica and Paraguay succumbed to Cafeteros tactics in the group stage, while Brazil were held to a draw. In the quarterfinals, Colombia was an unstoppable force against Panama and defeated them 5-0.

A transformation to become the great contenders

Some people - not to say the entire soccer planet - saw Germany as the great favorite to be the champion of Euro 2024 for several reasons: they were playing at home, had - probably - the best squad of all.... But it was sent packing in the quarterfinals by a Spain that has overcome all doubts about its name, especially among its own fans, with a transformation of its tactics, with a much more vertical game, adapted to the new times. That famous tiki taka is now history. At the moment, they remain the only undefeated team in the competition.

The Reds finished first in their group in the initial phase with three convincing victories -and without conceding a single goal- against Croatia, Italy and Albania. The players coached by Luis de la Fuente beat Georgia in the round of 16 and eliminated Germany in the quarterfinals. The aforementioned verticality is thanks, in large part, to the explosiveness of the two starting wingers, Nico Williams and Yamine Lamal. As for the rest of the squad, virtually no question marks have been raised.

Spain will face a more than questionable France. Despite reaching the top four, Didier Deschamps' players aren't playing the kind of soccer expected of them. Their star player, Kylian Mbappé, is missing. However, both the striker and the rest of the squad can surprise at any time, so the Spanish national team will have to be vigilant against possible Gallic onslaughts.

In the group stage, they took five out of a possible nine points, with a win against Austria and two draws against the Netherlands and Poland. Thanks to an own goal against Belgium in the round of 16 they made it to the quarterfinals, where they saw off Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in a penalty shootout.

Do they deserve to be in the final?

Fans are amazed at how one of the next two teams could be the ones to tattoo their name on the palmares as champions of the current edition. Some say that they were lucky with the matchups they got, because, against other rivals, they would have already packed their bags. Both The Netherlands and England are far from what they once were. The former has one title to its credit; the latter, none.

The Oranje beat Poland in their first match of the group stage and thus of Euro 2024, while they managed a valuable draw against France and lost to Austria. The Ronald Koeman-coached players disrupted Romania in the round of 16 with their best game so far and put Turkey out in the quarterfinals.

In front of them will be England. Despite the fact that they are fulfilling their goal of reaching the heights of Euro 2024, the roars of the Three Lions have not intimidated them in the slightest. And they have one of the best squads of all the participants.

It is true that they did not lose a single match in the group stage, but, with a weak win against Serbia and two draws against Denmark and Slovenia, they sowed a lot of doubts. Gareth Southgate's men eliminated Slovakia in the round of 16 and Switzerland, on penalties, in the quarterfinals.