Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
After a pulsating Final at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, host nation Brazil were crowned the 2019 Copa America champions following their 3-1 triumph over Peru.
The tournament’s climactic fixture provided a fitting end to what was an incredibly dramatic competition in Brazil, with goals from Everton, Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison firing the Seleção to their 9th Copa America title.
Champions Brazil were the tournament’s outstanding team, but which players from the other competing nations put in performances worthy of recognition?
Take a look at our 2019 Copa America Team of the Tournament below to find out.
Goalkeeper: Alisson (Brazil)
Liverpool stopper Alisson further enhanced his reputation as one of the world’s best players in his position by keeping 5 clean sheets in 6 games for Brazil at the Copa America. Alisson was well protected by the defence in front of him, though he was solid and unflappable when called upon.
Right Back: Dani Alves (Brazil)
Veteran free agent Dani Alves showed why he could prove to be the bargain of the summer transfer window with a string of scintillating performances for Brazil. Alves was named the tournament’s “Most Valuable Player” after the Final on Sunday, and the 36-year old’s star doesn’t seem to have dimmed at all, despite his advancing years.
Centre Back: Marquinhos (Brazil)
Marquinhos formed a commanding centre back partnership with PSG teammate Thiago Silva at the heart of the Brazilian backline at the Copa America, though the versatile defender was easily the more impressive performer of the two. The 25-year old’s reading of the game and composure in possession were key to Brazil’s success throughout.
Centre Back: Luis Abram (Peru)
23-year old Velez Sarsfield centre-back Luis Abram gave his reputation a shot in the arm with a series of impressive display for Peru in Brazil. Abram was one of the 8 Peruvian players that started every one of the nation’s Copa America matches en-route to the Final, and the Lima-born defender completed more clearances (4.5) on average per game than any of his teammates.
Left Back: Miguel Trauco (Peru)
Hard-hitting Flamengo fullback Miguel Trauco averaged a bone-bruising 2.8 tackles per 90 minutes for Peru during their surprise run to the Copa America Final. The 26-year old also averaged 1.3 interceptions and 3.2 clearances per contest during his impressive tournament campaign.
Midfield: Charles Aranguiz (Chile)
30-year old Chilean schemer Carles Aranguiz was at his creative best during the Copa America, finishing with the joint highest number of assists (3) and key passes played per game (3) in Brazil. The Bayer Leverkusen employee looks set to move to Italy this summer, with AC Milan and Napoli both thought to be vying for his signature.
Keep up to date with the latest rumours and gossip on our Daily Transfer Update page here.
Midfield: James Rodriguez (Colombia)
Even though Colombia fell to a disappointing Copa America exit at the Quarter Final stage, inventive midfielder James Rodriguez enjoyed an excellent tournament from an individual standpoint. The 27-year old, whose future at club level is still uncertain, amassed 2 assists and played 3 key passes per game on average for Colombia.
Midfield: Everton (Brazil)
Gremio’s flying winger Everton was one of the breakout stars at the Copa America, forcing his way from Brazil’s bench to first team prominence in rapid time. After netting his deadlock breaking goal in the final, Everton finished as the tournament’s joint top scorer (3), and the 23-year old’s nifty footwork and penetrative runs will have put him firmly on the radar of big clubs across Europe this summer.
Attack: Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
After a relatively quiet Group Stage, Gabriel Jesus came into his own in the knockout phase of the Copa America, notching 2 goals and an assist inside 3 pivotal games for Brazil. Jesus scored in his team’s 3-1 win against Peru in the Final, though he was given his marching orders for two very questionable bookings later in the contest.
Attack: Roberto Firmino (Brazil)
With 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 starts for Brazil, Roberto Firmino was one of the most effective and productive players at the 2019 Copa America. The Liverpool forward’s unselfish play and appreciation of space made him one of the most important cogs in Brazil’s attacking machine.
Attack: Paolo Guerrero (Peru)
We tipped Paolo Guerrero as an outside bet at 20/1 to finish as the top scorer at the Copa America, and the veteran hitman didn’t disappoint. The 35-year old hit the net 3 times for his country in total, though his all-round impact and influence for the Peruvians was far weightier than that single figure statistic suggests.
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