Manchester City duo Ederson Moraes and Gabriel Jesus lost the Copa America title on Sunday morning. Brazil lost 1-0 to Argentina in the final to dash the country’s hopes of securing another major title on home soil. Instead, it was a determined Lionel Messi-led Argentina that powered through to win a long-awaited Copa trophy.
Gabriel Jesus could not feature in the final for his country as he was serving a ban by CONMEBOL. The striker received a straight red card following a dangerous flying challenge that could have caused serious injury to Eugenio Mena in Brazil’s 1-0 win over Chile.
He was subsequently given a two-game ban that ruled him out of the competition’s final. That left Brazil short of firepower upfront as they faced Argentina in a blockbuster encounter. Led by the hungry Lionel Messi, Argentina were in a no-nonsense mood.
The quest to end a 28-year wait for the Copa America trophy meant Argentina were in a do-or-die mode. Angel Di Maria scored the decisive goal in the 22nd minute. The Albiceleste held on to overcome Tite’s men and end their run of several failures in major tournament finals.
It was particularly a crowning moment for Messi who has failed to win a major honour with the national team in ten tournaments. But Brazil had their own plans playing on home soil.
For players like Neymar and Marquinhos, Copa America was an opportunity to make up for the disappointment of falling short in both the French Ligue 1 and the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain. All of Fred, Casemiro, Danilo and Roberto Firmino also needed the gold medal to put behind their disappointments at club level.
The City duo of Ederson and Jesus needed the competition win too. Ederson was in goal for the final, but Jesus couldn’t even feature to help his side.
The striker has been on a barren run in front of goal for the national team failing to score in his last eight outings. He mustered only an assist in the four Copa matches played before his suspension.
Just like after the Champions League final, the City duo will return to England empty-handed. Losing two major finals in two months can be devastating as these trophies can be the highlight of any player’s career. But they can take solace in the fact that they both have several medals with Man City.
There’s also a chance to achieve more with both club and country in the future given their age bracket. So there’s still a lot to look forward to. In 2022, there will be a chance to win another Premier League title, the Champions League and even the World.
So it’s not time to grieve or cry over spilled milk. It’s time to brace up, learn from the failures and prepare for the future. That’s after taking a well-deserved rest, of course.
It promises to be another grueling season ahead.