Mexico and Colombia are Argentina's biggest rivals for Copa success - Otamendi


Mexico and Colombia are Argentina's biggest threat for Copa America Centenario glory, according to defender Nicolas Otamendi. 

Colombia are already through to the quarter-finals of the special-edition centenary tournament, following wins over the United States and Paraguay. 

Mexico, meanwhile, kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win over 15-time champions Uruguay, and a win against Jamaica on Thursday will seal their spot in the last eight. 

Otamendi, fresh from a 2-1 win over Chile in a rematch of the 2015 final, has pin-pointed those two nations as Argentina's biggest challengers. 

"The Copa has only just started, but Colombia are doing things well. They've already had two wins," the Manchester City centre-back said. 

"Mexico have also got a good win, but you can't rule out anyone, and we have to think about ourselves and to focus on making another final."

Argentina are without a major trophy in 23 years, when they clinched the 1993 Copa America title in Ecuador.

"We have to be aware and must think game-by-game, but like a lot of people say, we always go out to win a title for Argentina, and hopefully it's this one," Otamendi added.

Captain Lionel Messi missed their opener against Chile, but Otamendi is hopeful the Barcelona star can return for their second Group D match against Panama on Friday. 

"Not having Leo was important for us, because we still got the three points against a great rival," the 28-year-old said. 

"But hopefully we can have him back on Friday. Leo is a player that always wants to be on the pitch."