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Ten tournament-defining pictures from Copa America

The 2019 edition of Copa America concluded in delight for Brazil who won the competition for the ninth time. Indeed, a 3-1 triumph against Peru in the final secured glory for Seleção as they won their first Copa America title in 12 years.

Remarkably, Brazil have won the tournament every time they’ve hosted it and their most recent triumph was sealed following an undefeated campaign for Tite’s men.

The tournament heaped further misery on Lionel Messi’s international career, as Argentina failed to progress to the final having been defeated 2-0 by Brazil in the semi-final.

Furthermore, despite winning the third-place playoff against Chile, Messi was sent off for the first time in 14 years – a disappointing end to a fruitless campaign for one of the game’s greatest players.

Peculiarly, finalists Peru only reached the knockout stages by virtue of being the highest-ranked third-placed team in the group stages, and then proceeded to defeat Uruguay and Chile to reach the final against the dominant hosts.

Following Copa America’s conclusion, Football Fancast have compiled ten of the most enduring, intriguing and tournament-defining photos from the latest instalment South America’s ultimate football festival.

Miserable Messi

For a player capable of attaining 49 goal contributions – 36 goals and 13 assists – in La Liga at the age of 32, a couple of goal contributions (one goal, one assist) in six games for Argentina at the Copa America is somewhat underwhelming.

This isn’t an attempt to depress his influence. He still achieved an impressive average rating of 7.2, as per Whoscored, for his performances in the tournament.

However, Messi’s elusive pursuit of success with Argentina continues. His only major honour with La Albiceleste was an Olympic gold medal in 2008, hardly reflective of his immense standing.

Alisson continues to impress

Throughout the entirety of the tournament, the Liverpool goalkeeper only conceded once before Paolo Guerrero’s successfully converted a penalty in the final for Peru.

In fact, before that goal, Alisson had gone 64 days and played 890 minutes of football without conceding.

The Champions League and Copa America winner enjoyed a remarkable season, registering 21 clean sheets and only conceded 22 goals in 38 games during his inaugural Premier League campaign.

His continuation of that form on the international stage formed a critical foundation for Brazil’s success.

Rondón fails to inspire

Salomón Rondón failed to emulate his club form on the international stage for Venezuela.

The forward was crucial in Newcastle’s quest to prolong their top-flight status having amassed 18 goal contributions – 11 goals and seven assists – last season.

However, the 29-year-old failed to score a single goal at Copa America as Venezuela were defeated 2-0 by Argentina in the quarter-finals.

More frustration for Alexis

Alexis Sanchez’ move to Manchester United has been a categoric failure, with the attacker only achieving a measly total of four goal contributions in the league last season – scoring once, providing three assists.

In only six games for Chile at Copa America, the 30-year-old almost matched his number of goal contributions in the league while equalling his United goal tally for the season, having scored twice and assisted once for his national side.

Much to his dismay, Alexis was subbed off injured against Argentina in the third-place playoff.

Majestic Mina impresses

Yerry Mina and Colombia enjoyed a tremendous Copa America campaign, keeping four consecutive clean sheets in the tournament.

They topped a group that included the might of Argentina, winning all three games, before being knocked out in the quarter-finals on penalties against Chile.

The Everton centre-half – who has a commendable goal scoring record – was on target in Colombia’s 4-5 shootout defeat.

Torreira struggles to feature

The Arsenal midfielder has been heavily linked with a return to Italy this summer in the form of a move to AC Milan, and the 23-year-old only started a single game for Uruguay at Copa America.

Despite his limited involvement, the combative midfielder did score a penalty – albeit in vain – in his country’s 4-5 quarter-final shootout defeat to Peru.

Aguero performs for club and country

While Argentina failed to win Copa America, the Manchester City striker performed admirably for his country.

In six appearances in the competition, Aguero amassed three goal contributions – scoring two, assisting one – which included the opening goal in Argentina’s third-place playoff triumph against Chile.

Failure and frustration for Valencia

Antonio Valencia, pictured battling against his former United teammate Alexis Sanchez, endured a disappointing tournament.

The 33-year-old only started once as Ecuador were unable to reach the knockout stage, failing to win a single game.

Golden glory for Richarlison

The Everton forward was used sporadically by Tite in Brazil’s triumphant Copa America campaign, only making three appearances – two of which were starts.

However, the 22-year-old scored the final goal to seal victory for Brazil in the final, and he looked understandably delighted while celebrating his first major honour.

Mixed emotions for Jesus

Despite enjoying an excellent campaign for Brazil, Gabriel Jesus’ performance in the final was characterised by contrasting emotions.

Having scored and assisted earlier in the game, the Manchester City forward was sent off contentiously, sparking a furious reaction from Jesus.


Article title: Ten tournament-defining pictures from Copa America

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