Copa America is South America’s top national team competition; it is one of the oldest organized soccer tournaments in the world dating back to 1916. Uruguay is the nation that has won the most Copa Americas at 15, followed by Argentina with 14, and Brazil with 9.
Brazil enters the competition as the clear favorite, the Brazilians have been coasting through World Cup Qualifying and look extremely organized under Tite. Argentina will be looking to end their over 20-year drought without a cup, in what will most likely be Lionel Messi’s final Copa America. Paraguay could be a dark horse in the competition as they have a very talented side, and Uruguay, while being up and down in qualifying, has an extremely talented side to keep an eye on.
One thing is for sure, there will be talents on display on each of the ten national teams, here is a list of 5 players that if selected could have a breakout Copa America in Brazil.
Talented 21-year-old Facundo Torres has recently broken into the Uruguayan national team, but he has been in the youth system since the U-15’s. It has been quite a year for Torres, splashing onto the scene at Peñarol in 2020 he is the Uruguayan league’s top player. Peñarol have valued the skillful forward at $20 million.
Vinícius Júnior is only 20 and he has already played 80 games at Real Madrid, having gone pro in 2018. The winger is extremely talented, hard worker, and tricky when taking on defenders. With only 1 cap for Brazil, Vinícius Júnior could be key in helping Brazil repeat as champions.
Argentina has been looking for a solid goalkeeper for what seems to be decades now, but the emergence of Emiliano Martínez at Aston Villa could be the answer to Argentina’s prayers. Martinez is very confident in goal and was Villa’s player of the season. This could be a perfect tournament to solidify his place as Argentina’s number one.
Paraguay’s Miguel Almirón has a lot of talent, quick to take on defenders, a powerful outside shot, and great dribbling skills. MLS fans know what Miggy can do, in England he has more than held his own at Newcastle. Miguel Almirón is 27 years old, 2 goals in 30 caps is not what you want from arguably the national team's most talented player. Miguel Almirón needs a big tournament to finally become a leader on the Paraguayan national team.
Ecuadorian midfielder Gonzalo Plata is a 20-year-old winger on Portuguese champions Sporting CP, he has 4 goals in 10 caps for Ecuador. Quick and talented Plata could be the next big thing for Ecuador and this Copa America could be his coming out party.