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Messi and Vinicius Compete for the Copa América. Essential Information about the Tournament

Who plays whom in the groups, and how many teams advance? Who are the favorites? What are the pink cards for? Copa 2024 starts tonight.

This summer, there are two significant events in football — EURO 2024 is in full swing in Europe, and the Copa América is about to start in the other hemisphere. We have compiled a complete guide for the tournament, which will be held in the USA from June 21 to July 15.


The tournament features 16 teams divided into four groups.

Group A

  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Chile
  • Canada

Group B

  • Mexico
  • Ecuador
  • Venezuela
  • Jamaica

Group C

  • USA
  • Uruguay
  • Panama
  • Bolivia

Group D

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Paraguay
  • Costa Rica

In the group stage, each team plays each other once. The teams that finish in first and second place advance to the next stage of the tournament. Unlike EURO 2024, third-placed teams do not advance.


Teams go directly to the quarterfinals — the first matches will be held on July 5:

  • Winner of Group D vs. Second place in Group C
  • Winner of Group C vs. Second place in Group D
  • Winner of Group B vs. Second place in Group A
  • Winner of Group A vs. Second place in Group B

This will be followed by two semifinals and a final.


The position of each team in each group is determined as follows:

  • The highest number of goals scored in all group matches;
  • Goal difference in all group matches;
  • The highest number of points earned in all group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on these three criteria, their position is determined as follows:

  • The highest number of goals scored in all group matches between the
    respective teams;
  • Goal difference in group matches between the respective teams;
  • The highest number of points earned in group matches between the
    respective teams.

Suppose teams are still equal on all these criteria. In that case, CONMEBOL will conduct a draw to randomly determine the team's position.

Features of Copa América

Up to five substitutions can be made in one match (but we are used to this). Secondly, pink cards will be used in the tournament! However, they are not for punishment or warning but for replacing a player with a concussion.

According to CONMEBOL, teams must report that they are making a substitution based on a suspected head injury and concussion. To do this, the reserve referee is shown a pink card, and the number of substitutions in such a case remains the same. Players who receive a pink card must immediately go to the team's locker room for medical assistance.

Tournament Favorites

Of course, the main favorite is the Argentine team, which became the world champion a year and a half ago. Messi and the company are expected to achieve new success, and many experts have no doubt that they will shine in the USA, winning a third title in three years. However, Leo himself said that it was not all about winning.

Lionel Messi: "I think it will be a very intense tournament because national teams are getting better and better. Argentina has always been the favorite, and we accept that. We are the best today because we won the World Cup, but the Copa América will be tough. Feeling loved across the country is the best thing you can achieve as an athlete and person. Thank you, and say that we will try to win the Copa América again, but remember, it's not all about winning."
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Next to Argentina, Brazil is among the favorites, trying to counter the world champions. There is a long-standing sports rivalry between the teams, which intensifies during the main continental tournament. Both teams bear a heavy responsibility, but it is a bit harder for Brazil: if Argentina needs to confirm their champion status, Brazil will have to make a strong comeback after being eliminated from the 2022 World Cup and finishing sixth in the qualification for the next World Cup. Special attention is paid to Real Madrid's star Vinicius Junior. In the Copa, he is expected to be the team leader as Neymar is still recovering from injury.

In third place is Uruguay — all the teams are pillars of football on the continent, so the trio of favorites looks like this again. Since June last year, Uruguay has lost only 2 out of 10 games under Marcelo Bielsa, and the team is in second place in the World Cup qualifiers, three points behind Argentina. Believe it or not, Luis Suárez is still in the game! And ready to battle opponents for victory.

The USA team could be pleasantly surprised, as this tournament will be held home. The Americans are actively preparing for the World Cup, which will also be hosted in their country. They are investing heavily in developing the team. This squad is the most talented in their history: almost all the players play abroad. Christian Pulisic from Milan, Folarin Balogun from Monaco, Timothy Weah from Juventus, Matt Turner, and Giovanni Reyna from Nottingham – overall, they are pretty impressive in their lineup.

What the Winner Gets

The prize fund has been increased to $72 million this time. Each participant will receive $2 million; the same amount is awarded for reaching the quarterfinals. The team that finishes fourth will get $4 million, third place will get $5 million, and second place will be $7 million. The winner will receive $10 million and a trophy that will be original and historical – since 2001, only replicas have been in circulation.

Published by Patrick Jane