Copa America is the oldest international tournament in football. While it's not as glamorous an affair as the World Cup or the Euros, the South American championship still grabs plenty of eyeballs from around the world.
One important reason for that is the sheer number of top stars participating in it, as the region has consistently produced world-class talents throughout history. As a result, there's always intense competition for individual honors too, particularly the Golden Boot.
Many great stars have got their hands on the prize in the past. Pele, Gabriel Batistuta, Ronaldo, and Rivaldo are just to name a few. But we've seen numerous players offer surprises by winning it against all the odds. Here are the top 5 unexpected winners of the Copa America Golden Boot.
#5 Everton (Brazil) - Copa America 2019
Despite the absence of their star man Neymar through injury, Brazil romped to the Copa America title on home soil in 2019.
The Seleccao stars swept all the individual honors too, one of them being Everton for the Golden Boot. He scored only thrice. But that included a crucial goal against Peru in the finals. Talk of coming up clutch.
None of the big stars like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Edinson Cavani, etc. enjoyed a particularly good period in front of goal. Instead, the now-Benfica striker took home the competition's top-scorer award.
Note: He shared the Golden Boot with Peru's Paulo Guerrero, who also finished with three goals.
#4 Eduardo Vargas (Chile) - Copa America 2016
Eduardo Vargas had already got a taste of winning the Golden Boot a year before the special Centenario edition. He finished as the top-scorer with four goals as La Roja won their first major title.
But in Copa America 2016, his chances of repeating the trick were few and far between. With just two goals in the bag until the semi-finals, he was trailing a number of players, including the in-form Lionel Messi, who was cruising to the award.
However, in Chile's 7-0 drubbing of Mexico in the last-four, the striker netted four times in an incredible display of attacking prowess. His sensational performance took him to six goals and above everyone else.
He was not to be surpassed by anyone for the remainder of the tournament. And just like that, out of nowhere, Vargas took home the Golden Boot for the second consecutive edition of Copa America.