La Serena (Chile): Chile’s Copa America 2015 is set to be a magical showcase of the best talent in the world of football but the bets are on for who will be the tournament’s best player.
Latin America could say that it has some of the best footballers in the world, the most refined, fastest, most technical (and the most volatile) such as Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Neymar, James Rodriguez, Sergio Aguero, Edinson Cavani, Carlos Tevez, Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria to name but a few, reports Xinhua.
To guess who the best player will be, the best and most logical place to start would be to look at the players within the favourite and strongest teams. Four countries appear to have a better shot of winning due to their quality and team balance.
The favourites include, in first place as always, Argentina and Brazil followed by Colombia and Chile with competitive teams full of talented players who could surprise spectators at any moment. However, one shouldn’t rule out defending champions Uruguay who may win based on their sheer fight and irreverence.
Obviously half the world will be watching Messi, who arrived in Chile in excellent form after winning La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League with Spanish club Barcelona. He is definitely on course to winning his fifth Ballon d’Or.
However, as everyone saw in the 2014 Brazil World Cup, Messi alone wasn’t enough to win the tournament for Argentina. Therefore, three other names from the Argentine side spring to mind — Aguero, di Maria and Tevez.
None of them have the same quality as Messi — is there anyone in the world who does? But one of these three will surely come out as a revolutionary player for Argentina in the tournament that kicks off on Thursday.
Moving onto Brazil, Neymar automatically comes to mind due to his maturity and readiness to take up the role of leader after winning everything with Barcelona like Messi.
The Brazilian fans also put their hopes in William and Phillippe Coutinho to accompany the Barcelona star and showcase some talent in the attack.
Colombian James Rodriguez is considered by many experts as 2014 World Cup’s Best Player even though FIFA gave the award to Messi. Rodriguez has the skill to propel Colombia to a high level which will open up the competition with his preciseness and ability to attack.
With the help of Rodriguez, Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Jackson Martinez can also produce some highly-skilled opportunities that could allow Colombia to win Copa America like they did in 2001.
Hosts Chile have the potential to pull it off but they depend on a lot of things such as how they play as a team, how on form the magnificent goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is, how powerful midfielder Arturo Vidal is but above all, Alexis Sanchez’s performance.
Sanchez is the heart, soul, lungs, legs and brain of the Andean team but he is also the designated goalscorer. Chile will have to depend on his performance to win their first ever Copa America.
Uruguay is a different kettle of fish completely with a team that bites and declares war on their forwards, especially Cavani, who has to take up the reigns and fill-in for Luis Suarez in the role of purebred goalscorer. Cavani needs to be very refined to overcome the obstacles that will face Uruguay in their journey to hold on to their title.
Messi, di Maria, Tevez, Aguero, Neymar, William, Coutinho, Rodriguez, Falcao, Alexis, Vidal, Cavani — any one of them could win the title of best player at Copa America. Hopefully, the decision will only take into account sporting values and not economic or commercial marketing criterion.(IANS)