Copa America 2019: A Combined XI of the Best Players at This Summer’s Tournament

?The Copa América kicked off on Friday 14 June as host nation Brazil beat Bolivia 3-0 in Sao Paulo, and there was some outstanding talent on display

This will be common throughout the tournament as some of the world’s best players descend on Brazil to compete for CONMEBOL’s flagship competition. 


Chile are defending champions, but face a challenge from tournament hosts Brazil and a Lionel Messi inspired Argentina, who are looking to win a first international trophy with their legendary player, having missed out on this trophy to Chile in the past two competitions. 

Here’s a best possible XI from the players on show this summer.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

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Alisson (GK, Brazil) – Liverpool’s Champions League goalkeeper makes the cut here. There are a few decent keepers at this tournament – not least Alisson’s teammate Ederson – but Brazil’s number one edges the competition out through his combination of incredible shot-stopping ability and eye for the pass. 

Dani Alves (RB, Brazil) – Paris Saint-Germain’s 36-year-old right-back was recently handed the captaincy of his country, and with 110 caps behind him, is one of Brazil’s most experienced players. He is third on the list of all-time appearances for the Seleção and will revel in leading his side out at this tournament.

José Giménez (CB, Uruguay) – 24-year-old Giménez has become a key part of two of the meanest defences in world football for both his national and Atletico Madrid in recent years. He already has 50 senior caps for La Celeste.

Diego Godín (CB, Uruguay) – Alongside Giménez is captain and now former club teammate Diego Godín. The 33-year-old is still regarded as one of the very best defenders in the world and forms a formidable partnership at the centre of the Uruguay defence. He is La Celeste’s most capped player, with 127 appearances for the senior side.

Nicolás Tagliafico (LB, Argentina) – Tagliafico has had an outstanding domestic campaign with Ajax, helping them reach the Champions League semi-finals. He made his international debut in 2017 but is fast securing his place on the left-hand side of the Argentinian defence.


Midfielders

Manuel Rosas,Giovani Lo Celso

?Fernandinho (CDM, Brazil) – Anchoring the XI is Manchester City man Fernandinho. Still one of the best defensive midfielders in the world despite his 34 years, he combines experience and energy? to disrupt opposition play and begin his team’s attacks. Without him, City may not have pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title this season.

Arturo Vidal (CM, Chile) – Chilean dynamo Vidal has had a generally impressive campaign for Barcelona, after his signing raised eyebrows, and has filled the void left by the experienced all-action Paulinho. The 32-year-old midfielder is even more important at international level and is one of manager Reinaldo Rueda’s key lieutenants. 

Giovani Lo Celso (CM, Argentina) – Lo Celso has enjoyed a breakout campaign for Real Betis in La Liga this season. Argentina fans caught glimpses of his potential at last summer’s World Cup and will hope he can become the oft-missing link between midfield and attack as La Albiceleste look to win the tournament for the 15th time.

Lionel Messi (CAM, Argentina) – The ace in the whole. Messi needs no introduction, but what he does need is an international trophy to add to his already impressive haul. He will try all he can to drag Argentina to the final, but sometimes even the magic of Messi isn’t enough to secure victory.


Forwards

Miguel Araujo,Duvan Zapata

Sergio Aguero (ST, Argentina) – Manchester City front man Aguero is one of the deadliest finishes in world football. Argentina will need him firing on all cylinders if they are to triumph in the tournament and with players like Lo Celso and Messi feeding him the ball, expect Aguero to rack up the goals in Brazil.

Duván Zapata (ST, Colombia) – Zapata’s frankly absurd scoring record this season at loan club Atalanta has forced him into contention for this combined XI. In 37 appearances for La Dea this season, Zapata netted 23 times and Colombia. He is a relative newcomer at international level despite already being 28. He made his debut in 2017 and has just nine caps. However, his form means coach Carlos Queiroz may lean on him more than the ageing legend Radamel Falcao.

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