Copa America 2024: Why Argentina Are Favourites To Win, 5 Reasons Backing La Albiceleste

Copa America 2024: Why Argentina Are Favourites To Win, 5 Reasons Backing La Albiceleste

Isaac Darko
updated at June 13, 2024 at 7:04 AM
In this article:
CONMEBOL Copa America logo
CONMEBOL Copa America
Argentina logo
Lionel Messi logo
Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
Brazil logo
  • The 2024 Copa America marks the 48th edition of the quadrennial international men's soccer championship organised by CONMEBOL
  • Lionel Messi's Argentina are the defending champions after they defeated Brazil 1-0 in the last edition three years ago in Sao Paulo
  • Sports Brief takes a look at five compelling reasons why La Albiceleste are poised as favourites to win this year's edition in the USA

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Argentina are aiming to secure their third consecutive major tournament victory at the upcoming Copa America, beginning next week in the USA.

La Albiceleste are heavily favoured to defend their title and will begin their campaign against Canada at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 20.

In the 2021 edition, Lionel Messi clinched his first international trophy as Argentina triumphed over Brazil at Maracana Stadium in Rio by a lone goal.

Brazil, Argentina, Copa America, Lionel Messi, Lionel Scaloni, Uruguay.
Sports Brief has highlighted the reasons why Argentina are poised as Copa America favourites in the USA. Photos by Patrick McDermot/Odd Andersen.
Source: Getty Images

The former Barcelona star led the tournament in both goals and assists, directly contributing to nine of his team's 12 goals.

Approaching what could be his final Copa America, the eight-time Ballon d'Or winner seeks to leave another lasting impact by lifting the trophy on July 15.

Sports Brief takes a look at five compelling reasons why Argentina are poised as favourites to win the 2024 Copa America.

Why are Argentina favourites for Copa America 2024?

Brazil's lacklustre form

Brazil last defeated Argentina in the 2019 Copa America semi-final with a 2-0 victory in Belo Horizonte, thanks to strikes from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, via The Guardian.

Many key players from that squad, including Gabriel and Firmono but also Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, and Thiago Silva, are absent from this year's team.

In 2023, Brazil struggled, going winless in four World Cup qualifiers in October and November and are sixth in the standings - the final automatic qualification spot.

Since Dorival Junior took charge in January, Brazil has stabilised somewhat with wins over England and Mexico and a draw against Spain.

However, overcoming strong teams like Argentina and Uruguay in the Copa America poses a significant challenge for them at this moment.

Players in top shape

Argentina's squad boast several in-form players. Messi has excelled in the MLS this year, with 25 goal contributions in 14 games across competitions, per GOAL.

Despite the lower level of competition in the US league compared to Copa America, the Argentine remains an elite dribbler and playmaker expected to shine.

Angel Di Maria has made significant contributions in his recent national team appearances, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Ecuador last Sunday.

Alexis Mac Allister impressed at Liverpool last season, and Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho is a top contender for the Golden Boy award.

The Lionel Messi factor

Messi remains a key asset for Argentina and is crucial to their Copa America aspirations.

He dominated the previous tournament with the most goals, assists, and dribbles, earning him the Best Player award.

The 36-year-old excelled in the 2022 World Cup, finishing second in goals scored and leading in assists.

The Inter Miami captain is the only player to win two World Cup Golden Ball awards.

With 13 goals in Copa America matches, he is just four goals behind Brazilian legend, Zizinho and Argentine great, Norberto Mendez (both with 17).

Messi aims to break this record and add another Copa America title to his achievements with Inter Miami.

Lionel Scaloni's tactical prowess

Scaloni has turned Argentina from perennial underachievers into serial winners, with Copa America and World Cup titles. Behind his calm demeanour lies a versatile tactician adept at adapting to opponents.

Argentina has evolved under his guidance, using varied formations and personnel adjustments to maximise Messi's impact while maintaining defensive solidity. Their refined system now equips them to handle any challenge they face at the highest level.

Argentina are simply difficult to beat

Since Scaloni took over as head coach in 2019, Argentina has been formidable. Following their loss to Brazil in the 2019 Copa America semi, La Albiceleste has embarked on a 36-game unbeaten streak, which ended in their 2022 World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia.

Since winning the Mundial in Qatar, Scaloni’s team has lost just once in 18 matches - a defeat to Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier.

They have triumphed in all four subsequent games, including a crucial away win over Brazil. With only two losses in nearly five years, Scaloni has instilled a resilient spirit that makes Argentina a daunting opponent in world football.

Martinez drops Messi’s retirement hint

Sports Brief also previously reported on Lisandro Martinez discussing Lionel Messi's retirement plans ahead of the 2024 Copa America, which could possibly be his last major tournament.

The Inter Miami star himself has not commented affirmatively but has instead left his options open and said his continuity in the national team would depend on his physical condition.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)