The 2019 Copa America, South America’s international competition, gets underway in just under 2 months and we consider who will win the tournament.
The Copa America is the oldest international tournament in the world and is played between the 10 South American nations and invited teams.
Who will play who in the Copa America?
The groups were drawn back in January, with Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil being the seeded teams. The three groups are:
- Group A: Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru
- Group B: Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Qatar
- Group C: Uruguay, Ecuador, Japan, Chile
Who Has Won Previously?
8 of the 10 CONMBEOL sides have had success since the inaugural tournament back in 1916. Uruguay, with 15 titles are the most successful Copa América team. Argentina has 14 titles and Brazil, eight. The other former champions, with two titles each are Paraguay, Peru and Chile. Bolivia, and Colombia, have each won one the competition once. Equador and Venezula are the two CONMEBOL teams who are still looking for success at the tournament. Japan and Qatar have never won the Copa America.
Chile head into the tournament as two time defending champions, after winning in 2015 and 2011 – will they win a third title?
It is the centenary of Brazil win back in 1919. Can the 2019 hosts repeat history 100 years later?
Who are the Favourites?
In order to make it to the final the teams must make it out of their groups, and win the respective quarter and semi final matches.
The top two in each group, plus the two best third-placed teams, qualify for the knockout stage which begins in the quarter-finals. Then it’s a straight knockout to the final on 7 July.
We take a look at each of the 12 teams.
Argentina have won the tournament 14 times but not since 1993. They have reached the last two finals of the Copa America and lost both times on penalties. Another loss would extend a trophy drought that stretches back to 1993.
The side desperate for a major title after a long trophy drought were drawn for the 2019 Copa America against Colombia, Paraguay and invited team Qatar.
Lionel Messi will probably be going to Brazil. The Barcelona forward took a sabbatical from international soccer after a disappointing World Cup in Russia and wasn’t sure if he would play in the Copa America, but Lionel Scaloni believes it’s ‘evident’ Messi, will play. If Messi does play it will be superb for Argentina.
La Verde won the competition once back in 1963. They are currently 63rd in FIFA’s ranking table and are not expected to perform brilliantly at the tournament.
Despite not winning the competition for 12 years, and only being third most successful team they head into the 2019 Copa America one of the favourites for the competition. Why are they one of the favourites? Well, apart from being the 3rd best team in the World according to FIFA they are this years hosts and Brazil have won every year that they have hosted the competition. Another reason for optimism is that they have a squad containing the likes of Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus.
Brazil have won 8 Copa America titles, the last being in 2007 (1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007).
The hosts have been handed a kind draw ahead of home tournament, The Selecao will face Peru, Venezuela and Bolivia. However, the team will be under huge pressure to win on home soil and deliver some silverware after they were knocked out the World Cup at the quarter-final stage last year.
Neymar, the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who has been sidelined since January, has started playing again and boss Tite has no concerns over his fitness and has said that he is expected to be “in better condition at the Copa America than he was in the World Cup”.
Whilst Chile have won the past two tournaments, they have slipped to 13 in the world rankings, the fifth CONMEBOL team on the list, they do not head into the tournament as favourites. After having success on the international stage for a few years they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Many of Chile’s star players are out of favour at the moment, however 10 of their 11 most capped players still active, all of those previous winners, and the majority of their two-time triumphant team still intact, they remain contenders. Winning a third tournament on the bounce seems unlikely.
Los Cafeteros won the 2001 edition when they defeated Mexico (a CONCACAF invitee). They recentl lost to South Korea but in March the beat Japan 1-0.
Can Hernán Darío Gómez lead Ecuadr to there first Copa America title? There best performance has been a fourth place win.
Japan have played in the Copa before – failing to navigate their group in 1999. They have lost there last 3 matches so they don’t seem to be in great form.
Paraguay have won the competition on two occasion, the last time was back in 1979. They are currently ranked 36 according to FIFA, almost at the bottom of the CONMOBOL teams. They did reach the final in 2011, but since then they have deteriorated making the semi-finals in 2015 and not making it out of the group stage in 2016. They have lost all five of their last friendlies.
Peru have won the competition twice, but in the last edition they didn’t make it last the quarter finals and at the 2018 World Cup they didn’t make it out of the group. They did recently beat Paraguay in a friendly.
Qatar are making their debut appearance in the competition. They have recently won the Asian Cup so they are in good form.
Uruguay’s 2011 win was a record 15th success. They are in great form winning their last two matches, in the China Cup. Pereiro and Stuani both scored goals in these matches.
One of the top three top seeds Uruguay are in perhaps the most difficult Group C, along with the invited side Japan, plus Ecuador and reigning champions Chile.
In the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking they climbed one rung to sixth, just one short of their highest 2018 placing. They will go into the competition full of confidence, having just retained the China Cup, thanks to emphatic 3-0 and 4-0 wins over Uzbekistan and Thailand respectively.
They call on a hugely experienced core of players who are at the peak of their physical and mental powers. Diego Godin became the country’s most capped player of all time, with 126 appearances at the China Cup. Fernando Muslera has kept goal at the last three FIFA World Cup™ competitions, while Luis Suarez’s Celeste career now spans 12 years, just one more than those of Edinson Cavani, Martin Caceres and Nicolas Lodeiro.
They have spent the last year working on a fresh tactical approach, one they hope to showcase to great effect at the Copa America. Will Uruguay be the winners in 2019?
La Vinotinto are yet win the competition, they did recently win a friendly against Argentina, which suggests that they could do well this year, however they then played a friendly against Catalonia and lost. They have a few friendlies to play before kick off so we’ll see how they do before we put any money on them to win.
FIFA Rankings of The Teams
3 – Brazil
6 – Uruguay
11 – Argentina
12 – Colombia
15 – Chile
21 – Peru
26 – Japan
29 – Venezuela
36 – Paraguay
55 – Qatar
59 – Ecuador
63 – Bolivia
What Are The Odds on the Favourites?
The bookmakers all have their odds available for the 12 sides and whether they will win the tournament or not.
The hosts Brazil are the 5/4 favourites to be the 2019 Copa America winners, with Argentina and Uruguay 4/1 and 7/1 respectively.
Columbia – 8/1
Chile – 10/1
Peru – 16/1
Paraguay – 25/1
Venezuala – 25/1
Ecuador – 31/1
Japan – 33/1
Bolivia – 33/1
Qatar – 80/1
The odds were correct at the time of publishing on the 29th April 2019. Odds available at bet365
This year’s tournament will kick off with Brazil against Bolivia in Sao Paulo on June 14 and take place in five Brazilian cities. The final is at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium on July 7. In addition to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, matches will be held in Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Salvador. The tournement is going to be exciting for sure with a great deal of pressure being put on both Brazil and Argentina.
If you are interested in watching the tournament find out more here.