Ranking the top 5 Golden Boot contenders at Copa America 2021

Ranking the top 5 Golden Boot contenders at Copa America 2021

Argentina v Ecuador – South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022

After an exciting campaign of domestic football, we are just days away from CONMEBOL Copa America 2021, one of the oldest competitions in football.

Tite’s Brazil were simply unstoppable last time out as they won the competition for the ninth time in their history. They beat Copa America 2021 hosts Argentina in the semi-finals by a scoreline of 2-0 to progress to the final against Peru.

The Selecao dispatched their opposition and conceded their only goal in their six games during the 3-1 win. Brazil also swept all the individual awards in the 2019 edition, with Everton Soares winning the Golden Boot.

Copa America 2021 will also see Neymar return to the Brazilian side for the first time since the 2015 edition of the competition. The 29-year-old’s inclusion massively bolsters Brazil’s hopes of retaining the trophy.

Neymar will go head to head with two of his former attacking teammates, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Luis Suarez of Uruguay at Copa America 2021. With the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Lautaro Martinez, Sergio Aguero, and a host of other strikers also set to participate, there won’t be a shortage of goalscorers on display.

On that note, here, we look at five contenders for the Golden Boot at the upcoming competition.

Copa America 2021 — Golden Boot contenders#5 Eduardo Vargas | Chile

Chile v Peru: Semi Final – Copa America Brazil 2019

Chile striker Eduardo Vargas kicks off this list on the back of his incredible achievements in the competition over the last few years. Prior to Copa America 2021, Vargas won two successive Golden Boots in 2015 and 2016, firing La Roja to their only two titles in the competition. In 2019, he scored just one goal lesser than eventual winner Everton Soares.

Vargas is the second-highest scorer among active players in Copa America history with 12 goals, with Paulo Guerrero (14) topping the charts.

Vargas is also the second-highest scoring Chilean of all-time with 38, only behind Alexis Sanchez (43). The Atletico Mineiro forward will hope to replicate his heroics from the past at the Copa America 2021 this summer.

#4 Edinson Cavani | Uruguay

AS Roma v Manchester United – UEFA Europa League Semi Final: Leg Two

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani nearly brought his European career to an end before moving to Old Trafford. After a slow start to life in England, the 34-year-old picked up the pace and was simply sublime at the business end of the season. The former Paris Saint-Germain superstar scored in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals of the UEFA Europa League for the Red Devils.

Cavani has been razor-sharp and has worked his socks off for the side despite his age. His 13 Premier League starts have yielded ten strikes and three assists, and he’s scored some absolutely scorching goals as well.

2 – Edinson Cavani is the first player to score 2+ goals in both legs of a two-legged semi-final in a major European competition since Klaus Allofs for 1. FC Köln v KSV Waregem in the 1985-86 UEFA Cup. Bracing. #ROMMUN pic.twitter.com/CRqEIfg8Pw

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 6, 2021

If he can keep up the superb streak he’s been on heading into Copa America 2021, El Matador could certainly compete for the top scorer award. He’s currently on 49 goals for Argentina, only second to Luis Suarez’s 62.

Also read: 5 Best Manchester United comebacks this season (2020/21)

#3 Luis Suarez | Uruguay

Atletico de Madrid Celebrate Winning La Liga

Uruguay have been blessed with some incredible forwards such as Cavani and Diego Forlan over the last decade or so, but Luis Suarez is a cut above the rest. The 34-year-old is arguably one of the greatest strikers of his generation and has scored goals wherever he’s played. After being exiled from Barcelona, Suarez came back strong and spearheaded their rivals Atletico Madrid to the league title.

El Pistolero’s displays in 2020-21 have proven he still has quality left to offer teams at the highest level, and is possibly one of the contenders for the Golden Boot. He scored six goals in ten appearances at the Copa America prior to the 2021 edition.

Suarez scored 21 goals in his 32 league games for Atleti, including the goal that effectively sealed the title. La Celeste’s record goalscorer will hope to spearhead to their 16th Copa America title this summer.

#2 Neymar Jr | Brazil

Peru v Brazil – South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022

Brazilian football’s poster boy, Neymar Jr, is back in action for the Selecao and will be their biggest attacking threat at Copa America 2021. The 29-year-old is one of the best players in world football and, despite facing a few injury concerns, he’s been brilliant when fit. He will look to put the turbulent campaign suffered by PSG as a whole and help his homeland win their tenth Copa America.

With 64 goals for the Selecao, Neymar is the second-highest scorer in Brazil history, only behind Pele (74). In the 2020-21 campaign, the forward scored 17 goals and set up a further 11, and delivered a string of eye-catching displays in Europe.

68 – Neymar is involved in a goal every 68 minutes in Ligue 1, the best rate alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic among all players decisive at least four times in the top-flight since Opta analyzes this data (2006/07). Extension. pic.twitter.com/FfmrgY3lvm

— OptaJean (@OptaJean) May 8, 2021

Neymar will most certainly be in contention for the Golden Boot award this summer. It is also important to note that he is Tite’s preferred penalty-taker as well.

#1 Lionel Messi | Argentina

Argentina v Ecuador – South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022

Argentina’s majestic skipper, Lionel Messi, heads into Copa America 2021 as one of the favourites to win the Golden Boot. The 33-year-old has endured an underwhelming campaign with Barcelona but it’s been yet another brilliant individual showing. With 30 league goals and nine assists, Messi won his record eighth Pichichi in 2020-21.

Only Vargas (12) has scored more goals in the Copa America than Messi’s nine. The Argentina skipper and record scorer has had a miserable time in the competition, having lost three Copa America finals so far.

14 – Lionel Messi has either scored (18) or assisted (8) in each of his last 14 league games, the fourth time he has provided a goal involvement in 14+ consecutive LaLiga appearances after a run of 21 ending in 2013, a run of 18 ending in 2011 and a run of 16 ending in 2019. Tidy pic.twitter.com/3GQmQLuiLh

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 22, 2021

With the competition being hosted by Argentina, he would hope to make amends by leading his side to continental glory. He also has a wealth of attacking talent to play alongside, potentially forming a deadly partnership with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Lautaro Martinez.

Also read: 8 Metrics topped by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in LaLiga 2020-21

Source: Football – Fairplay News

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