Today kicks off the Copa America tournament in Chile 2015. From June 11th to July 4th the whole continent burst into soccer mode yet again! Taking place in Chile, the best teams throughout South America are ready to participate in the fourth most important international competition FIFA has to offer after the World Cup, UEFA Champions League and UEFA European Cup.
Tonight, the inauguration precedes the first scheduled game in the group phase for Group A. The host Chile vs Ecuador at the Estadio Nacional de Santiago in Santiago de Chile. The other stadiums are Antofagasta, Concepción, La Serena, Rancagua, Temuco, Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.
Mexico and Bolivia complete Group A. Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Jamaica are all in Group B and Brazil, Colombia, Perú, and Venezuela, are all in Group C.
The top three candidates expected to win the Copa America are Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, as they are seen as the stronger teams. So get ready for the group phase game between Argentina and Uruguay (June 16th) and the last Quarter-Finals game and second Semi-Final (where the top three teams could face each other). Definitely some intense soccer matches right there!
These national teams have many soccer-star names you’ll probably recognize. Taking into account just the market value and leaving advertising out, which would almost double the values, Argentina has several of the most valuable players. Lionel Messi from Barcelona, with a staggering 120 million Euros, is the most valuable player in the world. Messi alone is more valuable than all the players of Bolivia, Jamaica, Paraguay and Venezuela combined. Also from Argentina are Angel Di Maria from Manchester United – €65M-, Sergio Agüero from Manchester City – €50M – Carlos Tévez from Juventus – €23M – and Ezequiel “Pocho” Lavezzi from PSG – €14M. Brazil also has big names like Neymar from Barcelona – €80M -, Thiago Silva from PSG – €30M -, David Luiz from PSG – €28M – and Dani Alves – €10M. Uruguay (defending champion) also bring some quality players to the table with Edison Cavani, from PSG – €42M – and Diego Godin from Atletico Madrid – €30M. Last but not least, Colombians, James Rodriguez from Real Madrid – €60M – and Falcao from Manchester United – €45M. So keep an eye on this Copa America, where these talented players will play face to face!
Among the historical winners of the Cup, in the past 99 years, Uruguay has the most wins with 15 copas, closely followed by Argentina with 14. Brazil won 8 times, Paraguay and Perú twice each and Colombia and Bolivia have won one time each.
Even though the Copa America is usually hosted every 4 years, the year after the World Cup, there will be a special edition of the Copa America next year, in 2016, to celebrate the Copa America’s 100th anniversary. This edition will be hosted in USA, with the inclusion of North American teams.
So get ready to experience the passion, lifestyle and sport of Fútbol latino! And what better place to be than Argentina? Take the trip, and experience it for yourself!