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Finals Review: Correa and De Paul take Copa America, heartbreak for Trippier

Argentina claimed silverware, but England came up just short at Wembley.

Italy v England - UEFA Euro 2020: Final Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga - Pool/Getty Images

Angel Correa and Rodrigo De Paul taste Copa America success with Argentina

Correa may not have played in Saturday night’s final at the Maracanã or played a significant role throughout the tournament, but De Paul started five of Argentina’s eight Copa America games. His performances throughout the competition (especially in the final) should have Atlético Madrid supporters over the moon about his signing. A €35 million price tag for the 27-year-old might be a real bargain for the Rojiblancos.

De Paul’s exceptional performance against eight-time Copa America winners Brazil was highlighted by a 22nd minute assist, when he lofted a sublime pass over the Brazil defence for Ángel Di María. Renan Lodi failed to make the interception with an outstretched boot. Di María latched on to the ball and took a good first touch before lifting his shot beyond Ederson.

In addition, De Paul’s work rate on the field was second to none. He won 11 duels, made eight recoveries and completed five accurate long balls. He also saw a yellow card, but it doesn’t matter in these kind of high-profile games.

On the other side, Lodi started throughout the tournament for Brazil and recovered quickly from an injury sustained in the group stage. But he was caught out for Argentina’s goal in the final, and the pacy and experienced Di María gave him all sorts of problems. He lasted 75 minutes on the night and won five duels, two tackles, and two interceptions.

Trippier starts for England in devastating shootout loss to Italy

Meanwhile, in London on Sunday, Kieran Trippier took up his normal position at right back — and within 120 seconds, he had whipped in a back post cross for Luke Shaw (of all players), who put England ahead in the EURO 2020 final.

Unfortunately for Gareth Southgate’s men, that’s all they would get against Italy, as the Azzurri gained the upper hand and battled back to equalize over an hour later before eking out a 3-2 win on penalties.

Trippier played 70 minutes and became the first Atlético player ever to set up a goal at a European Championship final. But aside from the assist, he was quiet. The 30-year-old ended with two interceptions and one tackle to his name — along with a shockingly-low 54 percent pass completion figure.

England were poor as a team after the opening half-hour and had no effective recourse once Italy grabbed a foothold at Wembley. Trippier’s dead-ball expertise perhaps would have helped the Three Lions in those rare moments when they had the ball in the second half and thus generate a set-piece opportunity. Overall, Italy outshot England 19-6 and had nearly two-thirds possession.

Trippier’s performance during the Euros — five appearances, three starts, an assist in the final — fully justified Southgate’s “controversial” selection and subsequent faith in him. Now, we’ll wait and see if a Premier League side chooses to pony up and pay Trippier’s €40 million release clause or — and this is more likely — he soldiers on for at least another season in Spain.