Copa América 2024: Dark Horses and Potential Storylines

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For the 48th time in the competition’s history, one side will lift the Copa América trophy this summer.

But unlike previous editions, this year’s Copa has a different feel to it, given it was co-organised by CONCACAF. 

A whopping six CONCACAF entrants will join the 10 South American sides, as the United States get ready to host a festival of football. 

And to celebrate Copa América 2024, Flashscore have picked out a selection of potential storylines to keep an eye on throughout the tournament. 

Messi’s last dance with Argentina

Having lifted the World Cup with Argentina 18 months ago, there would be few better ways for Lionel Messi to sign off from international football than another Copa América win. 

It was Argentina’s Copa victory three years ago that sparked Messi’s change of fortune at international level, with the maestro having never won a trophy with his nation prior to the 2021 tournament. 

Now he can’t stop winning them and ahead of this summer’s outing, Argentina are once again being tipped to go all the way. 

But good things will have to come to an end eventually, and if he does inspire Argentina to another major tournament win, it could provide Messi with the perfect excuse to hang up his international boots.

Soccer comes home with stellar USA showing 

Whisper it, but the USA have a genuine shot at spoiling the South American party with a first-ever Copa América win. 

Set to be backed by a buoyed home crowd, the USMNT boast an impressive roster, with talent to be found across their squad. 

But crucially, the young American players do have tournament experience within their ranks, having made it out of the group at the 2022 World Cup. 

And given they’ve been drawn into a group with Uruguay, Panama and Bolivia, the USA should be eyeing up another run to the knockouts this summer. 

Brazil’s struggles to continue following lame World Cup exit 

In past Copa América tournaments, there has been little point in the other nations turning up, such was Brazil’s dominance of the competition. 

Of the last 10 editions, Brazil have reached the final a whopping six times, with Selecao finishing as champions on five of those occasions. 

However, defeat in the quarter-final stage of the 2022 World Cup highlighted a fragility to the Brazil side – something their Copa América opponents could look to exploit in the States. 

No side has as much pressure on their shoulders to deliver as Brazil and if things start to go against them, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them crumble. 

Colombia to compete for gold 

As for a genuine dark horse pick, Colombia look as if they’re the best-placed team to threaten the Argentina-Brazil duopoly that has re-established itself in recent years.

Colombia are healthy outsiders for the competition, but having finished in third place at two of the last three Copa América tournaments, they know what it takes to go far. 

Plus, having been drawn in a group with Brazil, Colombia know any potential path to the final won’t involve a meeting against the five-time world champions. 

Spearheaded by Liverpool star Luis Diaz, Colombia could emerge as this year’s surprise package. 

Keep up to date with all the latest scores, statistics and news from Copa América with Flashscore 

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