The golden generation of Chile get to pit their wits against the greatest footballer in the world, as the host nation take on the glamour of Argentina in the 2015 Copa America final.
Lionel Messi is yet to add a Copa win to his list of distinguished honours, with the Argentinians without a tournament win since 1993. However, Chile have never won the competition—often lagging behind the superiority of their next opponents, Brazil and Uruguay.
Here is how you can watch this major final, with stream information and a match prediction:
Date: Saturday, July 4
Time: 5 p.m. (Local), 4 p.m. (ET), 9 p.m. (BST)
Match Preview And Prediction
In years gone by, this contest would be easy to predict. Argentina have gone through multiple incarnations with a host of superstars in their ranks, whereas Chile have often remained down the pecking order in South American football.
But things have changed in recent times, with the Chilean's experiencing a period of exaltation—with players who fit into the best club teams in the world.
No individuals underline this fact better than Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal. The two players—from Arsenal and Juventus respectively—have become genuine world-class talents and staples of the Champions League, and both represent La Roja's best chances of home glory.
However, they are running into an Argentina side who have exploded into form. Messi and Co. dispatched Paraguay in ruthless fashion in the semi-final, winning the game 6-1, with the Barcelona wizard creating three goals.
And when you consider Argentina also have the likes of Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria at their service, who would bet against them taking the title?
But this Chile team is dogged and skilful, and their never-say-die attitude has won them fans across the globe.
Di Maria once again looks like the player Manchester United broke the Premier League transfer record for, and it will be the winger's creativity that poses Chile one of the greatest threats.
Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC summarised the Red Devil's return to prominence at the Copa, highlighting the attacker as one of final's main protagonists:
The winger who seemed so wasteful and ineffective at Manchester United last season has disappeared. Replacing him is the thrusting and thrilling attacker who was man of the match in the 2014 Champions League final with Real Madrid.
Chile will have to think about Di Maria too. The player himself has changed the thinking about his form. He's back to his best: a game-breaker.
Di Maria may well be a game-changing player, but Chile have a similar weapon in Sanchez. The player's transfer to north London last year was underpinned by a wonderful first season in England, and the attacker has the opportunity to cap off a fantastic 12 months.
The 26-year-old has always been an individual who knows where the back of the net is, but in 2014-15 he excelled at club level. Sanchez scored 19 goals in 42 EPL and Champions League appearances, per WhoScored.com.
Sanchez and Vidal have the chance to write their names in history on Saturday night, proving Chile are no longer the poor men of South American football.
Both players have the attritbutes needed to win a tournament of the Copa's standing, but when you have Messi standing in your way, and a cast of brilliance your chances do not look good.
However, there is a train of thought that says Argentina have peaked too early with their Paraguayan destruction in the previous match. If that is the case, Chile have a slim advantage going into the final—physically and psychologically.
And with the home fans blowing wind into their sails, it could be the greatest night in the country's 99 years of South American championship football.
Prediction: Chile to beat Argentina 2-1.