After a hectic campaign of domestic football, the spotlight will now be firmly on CONMEBOL Copa America 2021 and the UEFA Euro 2020. The two continental competitions are arguably the two biggest honours footballers can win at this level, and both have been graced by some of the game's finest.
While the European Championship is a relatively recent addition to the list of international titles, Copa America is on the other end of the spectrum. It is one of the oldest international platforms as Copa America 2021 will be the 47th edition of the competition.
It is a matter of great honour for any footballer to be called up to participate in a competition of such scale. On the flip side, it would also be a painful experience to be left out of the squad after years of hard work, and understandably so.
Although the squads for Copa America 2021 are yet to be officially announced, some big-name players have already been left in the dark over their participation. Be it due to fitness concerns, lack of form, or age, it has already been hinted that a handful of star players are not in the fray for the upcoming Copa America 2021.
On that note, here, we take a look at five such high-profile names.
Copa America 2021 — High-profile exclusions
#5 Arthur Melo | Brazil
After a very promising start to his career in Europe at Barcelona, Arthur Melo has seen his stock collapse after his move to Juventus. The midfielder was used in an ill-advised swap deal between the Bianconeri and the Blaugrana, which saw Miralem Pjanic and Arthur switch clubs. A year later, neither the Brazilian nor the Bosnian have managed to leave an impression on their new clubs.
The 24-year-old has started just 13 league games for Juventus this season, accumulating just under 1200 minutes of Serie A action. With time on his side, Arthur could still come good for Juventus.
However, as things stand, he has seemingly lost his place in the Brazil set-up, being omitted from their upcoming World Cup Qualifier squad. The 20-time Brazil international is unlikely to feature in Copa America 2021.
#4 Fernandinho | Manchester City
The second Brazilian on this list, Fernandinho, is likely to have a free summer ahead of him as he's not part of Tite's Copa America 2021 plans. The Selecao are relatively stacked in the middle of the pitch, with the likes of Casemiro, Fabinho Tavares, Douglas Luiz, and a host of others available.
Another major reason could be Fernandinho's lack of game time in England. The Manchester City captain has only started 12 games in the Cityzens' league-winning campaign, along with a further nine appearances off the bench.
Barring any serious injury ahead of the competition, the 36-year-old appears unlikely to participate in Copa America 2021 and add further to his 53 caps.