The Players to Watch for in this Year’s Copa America
With the Copa America kicking off earlier this month and lasting until July 7, soccer fans certainly have a lot to look forward to. That’s because on top of getting the opportunity to watch South American heavyweights like Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia duke it out for continental supremacy, previous editions of the tournament have also produced unforgettable moments like Lionel Messi failing to convert a penalty which eventually cost Argentina the tournament.
However, another reason to watch the Copa America is the opportunity to watch out for the emerging talent who will become superstars in the next few years. From Brazil to Japan, the Copa America has an abundance of talent that cannot be missed. Here are our best picks.
Everton Soares (Brazil)
With rumors already linking him to Manchester City and Manchester United, this 23-year old winger has certainly earned his place as a top talent to watch out for. Sport Illustrated details how Soares has great ball control, as well as having a penchant for cutting inside and creating “havoc in the box”. Because the Brazil team is so talented it may mean that he has to settle for coming off the bench, but he is certainly a player to look out for if he does play.
Luis Diaz (Colombia)
Having been an integral part of his club Atletico Junior’s run in last year’s Copa Sudamericana and their recent Liga Águila title win, the left-footed winger will now be looking to prove his worth for Columbia. Diaz is known for his fast pace and his attacking style of play. If he makes an impact in the Copa America he could put himself in the shop window, as reports are circulating that he could be on his way to Cardiff City.
However, whether this move will still push through in light of Cardiff’s relegation from the Premier League remains to be seen. If he performs well, Diaz’s ambitions may exceed England’s second tier.
Takefusa Kubo (Japan)
Dubbed the ‘Japanese Messi’ and ironically agreeing to sign with Real Madrid, Kubo and the rest of the Japanese national team are 1 of 2 invited guests to the South American tournament (the other being Qatar) this year. An attacking midfielder, Kubo is noted for his quick feet and an eye for goal. Although bwin Football News accurately predicted Japan would suffer losses early in the tournament, they lost 4-0 against defending champions Chile, watchful eyes are sure to remain on the 18-year-old as he lines up a summer move to Madrid. Whether he can live up to his nickname is something he will now have to showcase in the Copa America.
Federico Valverde (Uruguay)
Also a Real Madrid ace, the 20-year-old has impressed this season by stepping up for his club in the absence of German superstar Toni Kroos. The central midfielder has demonstrated his ability to execute accurate cross field passes as well as burst forward in possession. Combined with the talented veterans Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani by his side, Uruguay could potentially have a deep run in the tournament, with Valverde leading the charge.