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Copa America 2016: Experts' Picks

Sunaadh Sagar
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Feature
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 07:09 IST
Messi Golden Boot 2016 Copa America Experts Pick
Lionel Messi is favoured to win the Golden Boot in the Copa America Centenario

Ashwin Hanagudu

Finalists:

My pick for the tournament is going to be Argentina purely based on their attacking strength. Also, although they have last year’s Copa champions Chile in their group, if they do top their group, they will most likely end up meeting Mexico in the quarterfinals. Blessed with abundant attacking talent, the Albiceleste have sent out an almost full-strength squad and they will be hopeful of going one step better this year.

Their opponent in the finals will most likely be Brazil. Although Carlos Dunga’s side have not been at their best in the recent past, they seem to be a shrewd pick considering the fact that they might face only Uruguay among the established sides en route to the final.

Golden Boot:

My pick for the golden boot is Brazil’s in form Benfica striker Jonas Goncalves Oliviera. The Selecao will be facing Haiti and Peru in the group stage and Jonas will have plenty of opportunities to score a bucket-load of goals.

Srihari 

Finalists:

Given that the tournament is happening in the USA, where matches will largely be played in places where the temperature is on the higher side, teams with a solid defence and good stamina are likely to dominate.

Stamina and solid defence are two things that Chile stand for. Given that Chile have been able to hold onto their title for just one year, aside from the two or four years that is usually the case, they will want to retain the title they won at home. And that is why they are my picks for the tournament, if they aren't as flashy as the likes of Argentina.

Although Uruguay don't have a lot of creativity in midfield, their solid defence, based on two Atletico Madrid centre-backs and arguably the best striker in the tournament in Luis Suarez, they can surprise a few.

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Golden Boot:

As far as the Copa America goes, Peru's Paolo Guerrero has been the byword for consistency. He has a hat-trick in each of the last two tournaments and has at least four goals in those two editions.

With 10 goals to his name already, the 32-year-old is hunting down the Copa America leading goal scorer, who has 17 goals, in addition to becoming Peru’s all-time leading goal-scorer. While it might be difficult for him to score the goals to get that record, if he keeps up his consistency, he can certainly claim the Golden Boot, especially with Peru playing Haiti in the group stage.

Rohit Viswanathan

Finalists:

I am going for a rematch of the 2015 final between Chile and Argentina and I am going for Chile to defend their title once again. Chile are a well-balanced team and their superstars like Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal will be looking to step up on the big stage again. Although Argentina are blessed with abundant attacking talent, they always seem to choke in the finals and I think Lionel Messi and co will suffer heartbreak once again in the finals.

Golden Boot:

My pick for the golden boot is 5 time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. The Argentine superstar has had another stunning season for Barcelona, and I back him to be among the goals once again.

Vignesh Ananthasubramanian

Finalists:

Though I want Colombia to win the Copa America for James Rodriguez, I feel that Argentina will run away with the trophy. After losing in the finals to Chile in the last edition, Argentina has a squad that is capable of going all the way.

Golden Boot:

With the likes of Leo Messi, who according to me is the favourite to win the Golden boot, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria etc., Argentina probably has the best attack in the tournament and that makes them a strong contender to win the Copa America.

Davis James

Finalists:

Although most people would not rate them as high, I believe that Uruguay have the ability to go all the way and win the Copa America Centenario. Even though Uruguay might miss the services of their star striker Luis Suarez early on in the tournament, La Celeste could get through the group stages unscathed. Along with Uruguay making the finals, I am going with another dark horse as the finalist in defending champions, Chile. Although they lost their last two friendlies, Chile will be a completely different side once the tournament starts.

Golden Boot:

With Uruguay predicted to win the Copa America, I am going with world’s best forward currently, Luis Suarez, as the golden boot winner. There is a possibility that he might miss Uruguay’s first match against Mexico. However, this means that we can expect the Barcelona forward to make merry in the matches against Venezuela and Jamaica.

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Published 03 Jun 2016, 19:10 IST
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