The 47th edition of Copa America, one of the oldest competitions in football, will be thrown open on the 13th of June, 2021, in Brazil, the treasure trove of football talent. The competition is scheduled to last till the 10th of July, 2021. After a thrilling series of domestic football events, fans are looking forward to this international finale.
The highest scorers in Copa America history are Norberto Mendez from Argentina and Zizinho from Brazil; both struck 17 goals each back in the forties. This record remains unbroken to date. But there are so many charged players in the race that they might just disrupt it this year.
Copa America 2021 will see powerful strikers like legendary footballer Messi from Argentina, Suarez from Uruguay, and Neymar from Brazil clashing against each other in the fierce race to the top of the goal scoreboard. Let us look at the top contenders for the golden boot in Copa America 2021.
- Eduardo Vargas- won the golden boot in 2015 and 2016, missed narrowly in 2019.
- Edinson Caavani- played 10 assists and 3 strikes in 13 Premier Leagues and led Manchester United to the finals in UEFA Europa League.
- Luis Suarez- led Alectica Madrid to their La Liga title. He struck 21 goals in 32 games.
- Neyman Jr- scored 64 runs for the Brazilian team, beaten only by Pele with a score of 74. He is the team’s preferred penalty taker.
- Lionel Messi- scored 30 League goals and 9 assists recently; his only rival to the top is Vargas.
- Lautaro Martinez- scored 6 goals in 12 games for Argentina in 2019, struck 11 goals and 9 assists for Inter Milan in 2021.
1. Eduardo Vargas from Chile
Vargas has won the golden boot in 2015 and 2016; he narrowly missed the mark in 2019 and was beaten by Everton Soares on the goal scoreboard. He is also this close to making it to the top of the charts in Copa America history. He is at 12, while top scorer Paulo Guerrero has scored 14 goals.
Vargas has a speedy and deceptive attacking style. Back home in Chile, his score of 38 is the highest any player has ever hit, except for Alexis Sanchez, who has a record of 43. Moreover, he was one of the players who redeemed Chilean football from its downward spiral five years back.
2. Edinson Cavani from Uruguay
34-year-old Cavani’s career was showing signs of decline when he came to England. But his performance has shot up toward the end of the season. He has been spectacular in his games for Manchester United in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of the UEFA Europa League.
He has played 13 Premier League starts, finishing with three assists and ten strikes. Currently, he is racing with a score of 49 goals for Argentina. His moves are predatory and calculated. If he brings this vigor and determination to Copa America, he can certainly reach out for the golden boot. It could be one of his last few international tournaments before retirement.
3. Luis Suarez from Uruguay
Suarez’s strikes are undoubtedly a notch above the rest of his team. After his tragic exit from Barcelona, he joined hands with their rival Atletico Madrid and led them to the La Liga title in 2021. He played 32 League games for them and struck 21 goals in those. In the past years of Copa America, Suarez has made ten appearances and scored six goals. Just like Cavani, Suarez could be nearing the end of his international career.
4. Neymar Jr from Brazil
The Brazilian team is counting on Neymar Jr to unleash his attacks in Copa America 2021. The 29-year-old PSG striker is practically the poster boy for the Brazilian national team. He has had a tough time in the 2020-21 season, but Copa America is his chance to make it right.
He has scored 64 goals for the Brazilian team, beaten only by Pele with 74. He displayed a mind-blowing goal rate in the Ligue 1 campaign, working on one every 68 minutes. Neymar is all set on his way to the golden boot as a powerful sharpshooter and the team’s preferred penalty taker.
5. Lionel Messi
Messi has dragged a disappointing campaign with Barcelona recently. He has lost three Copa America finals so far. Argentina awaits an international trophy under his leadership. Copa America 2021 is a golden opportunity for Messi to make his fans proud.
Messi seems to be in high spirits, winning the Pichichi trophy for the eighth time in 2021. He has 30 league goals and nine assists to show for his recent performance. He is very close to climbing the top of the scoreboard in Copa America history, Vargas with a record of 12 being his only rival. All he needs is support from reliable teammates like Sergio Aguero and Lautaro Martinez.
6. Lautaro Martinez from Argentina
The 23-year-old striker and possibly Messi’s successor had an excellent start to his career in 2019. He hit six goals in 12 games in his Argentina career, two of them at Copa America. He was widely hailed as a breakout star from the benches. Martinez is making his first appearance in an international tournament. He had a good run with Inter Milan last season since they won the scudetto. He struck 19 goals and assisted 11 for them.
The tournament being a few days away, fan circles and chat rooms are buzzing with speculation. If you are rooting for your favorite striker to settle a score, you could hear things up with a good old bet. You can place your bets through these Ireland betting sites.
The atmosphere around Copa America is one of uncertainty and tension since the hosts had to be switched from Argentina and Columbia to Brazil at short notice, thanks to a surge in Covid-19 cases. Brazilian authorities are unhappy with the decision since Brazil is one of the worst-hit countries in the pandemic. Rumors of football players boycotting the tournament have been quelled, giving some assurance to fans.