The 47th edition of the most influential football tournament, Copa America 2021, is finally taking place, and fans from over the world are going gaga.
Yes! Almost after a year of delay, CONMEBOL announced that South America’s major men’s football tournament is back and is only a month away. The sudden outbreak of the global pandemic forced CONMEBOL to postpone the game, scheduled in June of 2020.
The Top Things to Know About Copa America 2021
- The rescheduled tournament opens on June 13th, 2021, with Argentina hosting Chile
- It will continue till July 12th, 2021.
- This edition comes with its own set of rules and surprises that fans have never witnessed before since 1983.
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5 shocking facts about the upcoming 2021 Copa America 2021
Two hosting nations
Yes, you read it right! For the first time since 1983, Copa America 2021 will be played in two different nations: Colombia and Argentina.
This decision of two nations hosting the Copa was taken from Brazil, and Alejandro Domínguez, the president of CONMEBOL, confirmed the same. In his statement, he supported the new decision, adding that the reason is to bring the teams close to the people and sustain and grow the football festival.
This isn’t the first time that the tournament is being held outside South America. The United States of America hosted 2016 Copa America, and the season went exceptionally well.
Shift from odd to even
Many of you must be wondering, “After Copa America 2019, why is it again scheduled for 2021?” Your confusion is justified, and you’re not the only one trying to figure out the real reason. Fans from all over the world are still confused as to why 2020 (now 2021) edition.
The answer is simple: because CONMEBOL wanted to shift the tournament from odd to even years. Though it’s a quadrennial tournament, the 2020 edition will put the game in line with even years, with the following edition in Ecuador in 2024.
The decision to change the calendar year has been on discussion for a long time and was finally confirmed in 2018 by Alejandro Domínguez after submitting an official request to FIFA, which was accepted the same year.
There is also another reason for hosting Copa America in 2020. CONMEBOL wanted Copa to fall in with the UEFA championship –meaning anytime there is Copa America, CopaEuro will be the next in line or vice-versa.
If the pandemic didn’t rupture the whole schedule, the world could have witnessed Euros and Copa being held on the same date. The decision is also undertaken to reduce the inconvenience caused while transferring the players in the tournaments for their selection, which never coincide in dates.
Fun Facts: Did you know Copa America holds the title of being the oldest football competition in the world? That’s not all! It is also the third most-watched competition around the world.
No Guest Teams
Copa America follows a tradition of inviting guest nations to feature as their guest team. Since 1991, the CONMEBOL council invites two teams from other federation to add a standard format. This also helps to bring in viewership from all around the world.
Qatar and Australia, previous winners of the AFC Asian Cup, were officially invited for Copa America. But due to the pandemic and postponement of the tournament by a year, Australia and Qatar both the teams decided to withdraw themselves from the tournament. This leaves a hole in the game, and they have to proceed with 10 teams instead of 12.
The Top Dogs – Uruguay
We know Brazil was the winner of the Copa America 2019 and their latest win confirms 9 victories in a row. But Uruguay is still leading the pack with a total of 15 titles, being the last one won in 2011.
Currently, Brazil is the best national team in the world. No doubt they have world-class players and squad depth, which makes it a win-win situation for them. Not to forget, Neymar jr, who was not being able to participate in the 2019 edition, will be back in the game this year and is chomping at the bit to take home the trophy for the 10th time.
But that doesn’t make the 15 times title winner, Uruguay, any less. Uruguay is entering Copa America 2021 as top dogs with much confidence and a better game plan, and Luis Suarez is leading the team. This adds more excitement and thrill to the whole season.
The final dance
Lionel Messi has been at the top of his career, but two simultaneous defeats in the finals of Copa America have left the man heartbroken. He was so affected by the outcome that he decided to retire from his national team only to come back when he is ready. But that’s history!
Lionel Messi is back in form, and Copa America 2021 may be his last chance to redeem himself and win the long-awaited title. Also, this time he has better support from his team with star players like Paulo Dybala, Lucas Ocampos, Alejandro Gomez, Rodrigo de Paul.
As Messi approaches the final stages of his career, bagging this continental title might be his last chance to be remembered as a legend.
After a year of postponement and uncertainty, Copa America 2021 is finally about to start. Since there is no word from the CONMEBOL council yet, we assume the tournament will continue with 10 teams only. The whole world is excited to witness which team bags the title of this edition.