Copa América: Who will be the champion and how far will your team go

Copa América: Who will be the champion and how far will your team go
Copa América: Who will be the champion and how far will your team go
Article information
  • Author, Drafting
  • Role, BBC News World
  • 13 minutes

They say that mathematics does not fail, but they also say that until the referee blows the final whistle, nothing (absolutely nothing) is written.

At BBC Mundo we appeal to the numbers, to the statistics, offered by the sports analysis company Opta to find out who could win the Copa América, which this edition is the largest in history.

And the oldest national team tournament on the planet will be attended by ten teams from South America and six from CONCACAF.

To get a more complete picture of who will win the tournament, Opta’s prediction model estimates the probability of each match’s outcome (win, draw or lose) using betting market odds and its own team rankings.

Odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances.

The model considers the strength of the opponent and the difficulty of their path to the final by using match outcome probabilities, while taking into account the composition of the groups and qualifications for the knockout stages.


Lionel Messi

Image source, Omar Vega/Getty Images

Caption, Messi: world champion, champion of America.

It is not surprising that Opta wins the world champion, who was also crowned in the last edition of the Copa América.

The albiceleste arrives with a history of 15 editions won and it goes hand in hand with a legend: Lionel Messi, who, at 36 years old, will play his last continental tournament.

Argentina, which Opta gives a 32% chance of emerging victorious, also has other stars such as Alexis Mac Allister, Rodrigo De Paul and Julián Alvárez.

Lionel Scaloni and his pupils have before them to achieve a feat that the past has denied them.

After winning the 1978 World Cup, they were unable to win the ’79 Copa América, Paraguay did. Back with the 1986 World Cup, they did not win the continental tournament either, the crown in 1987 went to Uruguay.

Maybe 2024 will make a difference.

In group A, Argentina is accompanied by Chile, Peru and Canada.


Vinicius Junior

Image source, Mark Thorstenson/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images

Caption, Vinicius Junior, in his best moment.

The canarinha It arrives in the United States with a bittersweet taste, in the last Copa América it reached the final, but was surpassed by Argentina at the Maracaná.

Furthermore, after starting the World Cup in Qatar as one of the favorites, she fell in the quarterfinals and finished seventh.

But perhaps those disappointments are precisely what work in their favor.

In addition to having a successful history in the Conmebol tournament (9 crowns), it has excellent players who play in the main leagues in Europe.

Vinicius Junior (who many see as a strong contender to win the Ballon d’Or), Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli are just three.

Added to that is that there are new airs in the selection, The helm was taken at the beginning of this year by the experienced Dorival Júnior.

Opta’s computer analysis gives the southern giant a 23% chance of winning.

Along with Brazil, in group D, are Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica.


Federico Valverde with the ball

Image source, Rodrigo Valle/Getty Images

Caption, Federico Valverde has won two Champions Leagues with Real Madrid.

The Charrúas, like Argentina, have won 15 Copa América trophies. The last one was celebrated in 2011.

In a bitter farewell to the World Cup in Qatar, Uruguay was eliminated in the group stage with what many called its golden generation.

The light blue team, to which Opta gives a 13% chance of winning the final, has several strengths: a solid defense and outstanding figures such as Federico Valverde, Luis Suárez and Darwin Núñez.

But there are those who find one of their strengths off the field: veteran Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa.

“El loco”, who led Chile to the World Cup in South Africa and became the hero of Leeds United, has been directing the celesta since 2023.

That context plus the wins at the end of the year against Argentina and Brazil (both by 2 goals without conceding anything) and the recent 4-0 victory over Mexico, makes the Uruguayan spirit strengthen even more.

Group C, in addition to Uruguay, is made up of the United States, Bolivia and Panama.


Christian Pulisic

Image source, Julio Aguilar/USSF/Getty Images

Caption, Christian Pulisic was named best US soccer player in 2023.

There is nothing better than feeling at home.

The United States, to which Opta predictions give a 7% chance of winning the title, has hosted the tournament since the throne of the Concacaf Nations League.

In Qatar, they managed to get through the group stage, but lost to the Netherlands in the round of 16. He finished the world championship in 14th position.

The North American nation has a solid team with players in European leagues, such as Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie.

In fact, there are those who believe that that squad had not gathered as much talent as the current one.

However, Gregg Berhalter cannot rely solely on his pupils or the support of the fans, even more so when a few days ago he lost 5-1 (at home) against Colombia.


Luis Diaz

Image source, Thiago Ribeiro/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Caption, Luis Díaz, one of Liverpool’s stars.

Although Opta only gives Colombia a 6% chance of winning the contest, the truth is that for many experts the coffee team is one of the strongest candidates.

Carry more than 20 games without knowing defeat. In March, they beat Spain (1-0) in a friendly match at Wembley. A few days later, they beat Romania (3-2), a team that was victorious this Monday against Ukraine (3-0) in the Euro Cup.

Argentine coach Néstor Lorenzo has stars like Luis Díaz and Rafel Santos Borré and a veteran who, although he was not called up in the last edition of the tournament, can be key: James Rodríguez.

Colombia, which won the 2001 Copa América, did not qualify for the last World Cup, but its offensive style and its new generation of players promise to put up a powerful fight.

And the rest?

America's Cup Trophy

Image source, Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

According to Opta’s computer projections, there are six countries that will have a very difficult time getting through the group stage.

With a percentage less than 27% probability, there are: Paraguay, Costa Rica, Canada, Panama, Jamaica and Bolivia.

In fact, those last three countries have zero chance of winning the trophy.

The situation is more open in group A, where Everything seems to indicate that Argentina’s companion will leave the Pacific classic. According to Opta projections, Chile has a 48% chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, while Peru has a 35% chance.

Both will have to be careful of a Canadian team that was the only one of the three countries to be in the last World Cup in Qatar.

However, it is unlikely that one of those teams will be able to appear in the final on July 14 or lift the trophy.

Something similar happens in group B. Mexico appears favored with a 69% probability to advance to the quarterfinals, closely followed by Ecuador with 65%.

In the distance, Venezuela emerges with 39%, but the good moment that Vinotinto is going through together with the doubts that the Mexican team has recently shown make it Group B is the most uncertain in the Cup.

The numbers change, of course, from the quarterfinals onwards and with a view to the chances of winning the title. Opta gives Tri the same probability of winning the championship that it attributes to Colombia: 6%. Ecuador is projected 5% and Venezuela only 1%.

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