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Copa America 2021: Best XI

Argentina's football sensation Lionel Messi won his first championship with his national team in the Copa America final, thanks to Angel Di Maria's goal. Here we take a look at Copa America 2021 best xi.

Last updated: 11.07.2021
Copa America 2021 Best XI

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Argentina's football sensation Lionel Messi won his first championship with his national team in the Copa America final on Saturday, thanks to Angel Di Maria's goal, which handed Argentina a 1-0 victory over hosts Brazil. Argentina's 28-year search for a major title came to an end in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium, and Brazil's 2,500-day unbeaten home record came to an end. With a goal in the 22nd minute, Angel Di Maria ensured Lionel Messi's team won the Copa America final, ending Argentina's international title drought. The tournament ended with Argentina winning a record 15th title but there were some impressive individual displays in the tournament. Here we take a look at Copa America’s team of the tournament.

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)

Martinez was the most important player in Argentina's campaign, as his three penalty saves against Colombia earned Argentina a spot in the final in Rio de Janeiro. His performance in the semi-final was the latest example of how, in such a short time, he has established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. During his debut season at Villa Park, the Aston Villa goalkeeper placed third in the Premier League Golden Glove rankings with 15 clean sheets, and he has maintained that form throughout the tournament. His brilliant display in the final and the competition earned him the Golden Glove.


Right-back: Juan Cuadrado (Colombia)

Over the course of the 2021 Copa America campaign, Colombian star Juan Cuadrado has been the team's greatest attacking engine. He scored 1 goal and managed one assist in the tournament. He captained his side and lead from the front scoring a brilliant free-kick in the third-place match against Peru. Colombia lifted the 3rd place trophy by beating Peru 3-2 at the National Stadium, Brasilia. 

Centre-back: Marquinhos (Brazil)

Far from the free-spirited, inspirational play often associated with Brazil, the team's true strength lies at the back, with Marquinhos in particular just as important, if not more so, than the likes of Neymar, Gabriel Jesus, and Roberto Firmino further up the field in terms of the team's impressive form. He scored the game's first goal against Venezuela, continuing his remarkable recent record of key goals. He has been in every game for Brazil and has been instrumental in Tite's team's campaign.

Centre-back: Thiago Silva (Brazil)

Thiago Silva, now 36 years old, has almost a decade of experience as a vital player in the Brazilian defence and is a key player for Tite. Though he has been rotated twice for Militao, he has started all important games for the Selecao this tournament. His exploits for Chelsea last season has solidified his position as the starting centreback for Tite’s side. 

Left-back: Matias Vina (Uruguay)

Matias Vina was one of the most interesting players in the Copa Libertadores last year, having previously helped his Uruguayan team Nacional win the Primera Division the year before. In this tournament, the 23-year-old has been nothing short of outstanding, starting every game for Uruguay. He is without a doubt one of the tournament's most outstanding young players.

Defensive Midfielder: Casemiro (Brazil)

Casemiro wore the captain's armband in the final against Argentina, leading the 2019 Copa America champions and controversial hosts of the 2021 event. He was an obvious and decisive defensive presence on the pitch for Tite's team. He's a destructor. In front of the back four, there is a wall. And, when called upon to undertake the said job, has generally performed admirably. In the group stages, he also scored the game-winning goal for Brazil against Colombia.

Central Midfielder: Fred (Brazil)

Fred hadn't played for Brazil since a friendly against Saudi Arabia in October 2018, and he'd been missing from Tite's squad for much of that time, but his return to prominence has been a delight. Brazil has won all seven games he has started during this extended international break. That's a remarkable turnaround for a player who had been out of favour on the international scene for so long.

Central Midfielder: Lucas Paqueta (Brazil)

Lucas Paqueta left the field in discomfort after Brazil's 1-0 win over Peru in a Copa America semifinal on Monday, prompting speculation among teammates about whether he would play in the final on Saturday. Few would have predicted that the 23-year-old would become such an important Brazilian player so early in the tournament. The Lyon midfielder helped Brazil reach the final by scoring two successive goals in the knockout stages.

Attacking Midfielder: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Angel Di Maria's goal handed Argentina a 1-0 triumph over hosts Brazil, giving Lionel Messi his first major trophy with his national side. Messi and Colombia's Luis Diaz tied for the most goals in the competition, each scoring four times. The Barcelona forward opened the tournament with a goal against Chile before completing the group stage with a brace against Bolivia. He added another in a 3-0 quarter-final win over Ecuador and converted in Argentina's semi-final shootout victory against Colombia. Messi was named the tournament's best player following the triumph.

Striker: Neymar (Brazil)

Just before the Copa America final, Neymar and Messi were chosen the greatest players. In five games, Neymar scored two goals and assisted on three others. He was also the best player for Brazil in the final, but the Selecao failed to defend their championship after failing to find a breakthrough. Because of a goal by Angel Di Maria, Neymar and Brazil were defeated. Neymar still has time to win an international trophy, and he was one of the tournament's finest performers.

Striker: Luis Diaz (Colombia)

Colombia beat Peru 3-2 on Friday, with Luis Diaz scoring a second-half double, the second an unstoppable 25-meter strike in injury time, to claim third place in the Copa America. He's been amazing this tournament and will undoubtedly be pursued by a number of clubs throughout the transfer season. He scored four goals in the competition, including a bicycle kick against Brazil.

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