5 Reasons why a Neymar-less Brazil will still win Copa America 2019
Hosts Brazil go into Copa America 2019 as the tournament favorites despite losing talisman Neymar to an ankle injury right before the South American continental showpiece. Having been disappointingly eliminated 2-1 by Belium in the Quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup, the Selecao under Tite have another shot at winning a major international tournament, something which they have failed to do since the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Brazil have had a dismal time in the Copa America since they last won the title 2007, when a Ronaldo and Ronaldinho inspired side dismantled Argentina 3-0 in the finals. The Selecao were eliminated by Paraguay via a penalty shootout in both the 2011 and 2015 editions, both times in the Quarterfinals. The 5-time World Champions embarassingly failed to even clear the group stages in the 2016 Copa America Centenario, finishing third in Group B below Peru and Ecuador.
Brazil go into the 2019 Copa America as the highest FIFA Ranked side in the tournament, standing in 3rd place as per the latest rankings. With the tournament being played at home, Brazil would also want to exorcise the ghosts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, when the Selecao had succumbed to their worst ever defeat - a 7-1 hiding agains eventual champions Germany at the Mineirao.
Despite being the most decorated international side in world football with an unparalelled 5 World Cup titles, Brazil are third in the list of most title wins when it comes to the Copa America. They are behind Uruguay (15 titles) and Argentina (14 titles) with only 8 title wins.
Tite and his men will take heart from the fact that Selecao had used home court advantage in their favour to win the last tournament held in Brazil, winning their first ever Olympic Gold Medal in Football at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In this article, we examine 5 reasons why Brazil will emerge as the champions in this edition of South America's biggest tournament.