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Copa America 2024: Key Players to Watch

Three years on from the last edition, Copa America will return this summer, but there’s a twist. 

Alongside the usual 10 South American nations, a further six teams from Concacaf will compete at this year’s tournament. 

Hosted in the States, the likes of Canada, Mexico and the USA will ramp up their 2026 World Cup preparations by taking part, with Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica also involved. 

Ahead of what promises to be a sensational summer of football, we’ve highlighted the key players from the main contenders to keep an eye on at Copa America 2024. 

Argentina 

Kicking things off with the reigning champions, talisman Lionel Messi will return this summer, as he looks to inspire Argentina to yet another international trophy. 

With what could be the last international tournament of his illustrious career, Messi will be joined in the USA by the supporting cast that helped inspire Argentina to World Cup glory in 2022. 

Julian Alvarez was crucial for La Albiceleste, with the Manchester City ace entering the tournament in fine form, having registered 32 goal contributions last season. 

Expect Alexis Mac Allister to shine once again for Argentina, with the Liverpool man joined in midfield by fellow Premier League star Enzo Fernandez

Brazil 

Where to begin when it comes to Brazil, with the five-time world champions boasting a star-studded squad from back to front. 

Vinicius Junior is the standout name on Brazi’s roster and having helped inspire Real Madrid to the Champions League last season, a strong showing in the States could solidify his Ballon d’Or campaign. 

Elsewhere in attack, Real Madrid team mate Rodrygo will look to chip in with goals, while Bruno Guimaraes should operate just behind at the base of midfield. 

Keep an eye out for teenage sensation Endrick too, with the 17-year-old expected to provide a spark for Brazil off the bench. 

Uruguay 

If it wasn’t for the duopoly of Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay might’ve lifted more Copa America titles in recent years. 

Luis Suarez has been one of the mainstays in Uruguay’s squad over the last decade or so, with Copa America 2024 likely to be his final international tournament. 

But in his place, a crop of youthful talents have emerged, most notably Darwin Nunez and Facundo Pellistri

At the opposite end of the pitch, Ronald Araujo is expected to feature for La Celeste, while just in front will be midfield anchor Manuel Ugarte

United States 

Now for one of the Concacaf nations, with the United States being tipped as a potential dark horse. 

Knocked out at the round-of-16 in Qatar, much of the same squad will return for Copa America, including goalkeeper Matt Turner and midfield gem Weston McKennie

Giovanni Reyna will also have a point to prove this summer, having struggled for form during a loan move with Nottingham Forest. 

If they’re fit and firing, goals will likely come from Timothy Weah and Folarin Balogun, as well as talisman and poster boy Christian Pulisic

Colombia 

Reaching the semi-finals in two of the last three Copa America tournaments, Colombia are well placed to cause another upset in the States this year. 

If they’re to do just that, the form of talisman Luis Diaz will be crucial, with the forward having endured a mixed campaign for Liverpool. 

Diaz may have inherited the tag of main man from James Rodríguez, but the ex-Real Madrid icon should still play a key role for Colombia. 

A midfield partnership of Jefferson Lerma and Mateus Uribe should provide a sturdy base, while Davinson Sanchez will be tasked with organising Colombia’s backline. 

Mexico

And finally, Mexico, who are the only non-CONMEBOL nation to have reached the final of Copa America. 

If they’re to replicate that – and perhaps even go one further – the form of Santiago Gimenez will be crucial, with the Mexican international having scored 26 times for Feyenoord last season. 

Elsewhere, finding a set position for West Ham United star Edson Alvarez could be key, given he’s floated between defence and midfield for the national team. 

While Cesar Huerta might provide manager Jimmy Lozano with a wildcard option off the bench – the 23-year-old notched up 20 goal contributions for Mexican side Pumas UNAM. 

Keep up to date with all the latest scores, statistics and news from Copa América with Flashscore 

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