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Copa America 2024 outright tips and predictions: Messi, Nunez and Vini Jr in top goalscorer race

The top goalscorer at Copa America 2024 is likely to belong to Argentina or Brazil but there are a couple of outsiders we can’t write off

Smaller groups and an easier route to five matches make the race for the Copa America 2024 Golden Boot more open than in previous editions.

While Lionel Messi may top the charts as a likely winner, Argentina have several candidates, as do Brazil, Uruguay and even Colombia.

Suggested bets

Lionel Messi: Top goalscorer (Best bet)

Darwin Nunez: Top goalscorer (Next best)

Luis Diaz: Top goalscorer (Small stakes)


Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is an obvious selection because the defending champions are likely to reach the final and he’s still easily their best player.

He’s been involved in 21 goals in 12 matches so far this MLS season, proving that he’s still a level above with crucial goals and impeccable timing.

He found the net seven times in seven matches at the Qatar World Cup while also weighing in with three assists.

He was able to raise his level, and that of his team, time and time again to make sure he finally lifted football's biggest prize, and he could do the same to win one last Copa.

It’s hard to see anyone stealing Leo’s limelight, but Man City’s Julian Alvarez scored four in seven at the World Cup and could become a chief threat in years to come.



Vinicius Junior

There is no doubt that Vinicius Junior is the best winger in the world. His electric pace, unpredictable bag of tricks and calm finishing under pressure make him hard to defend.

He’s not alone in that respect as part of a star-studded Brazilian side that also boasts Rodrygo, Raphinha, Gabriel Martinelli and Endrick.

The team is full of goals and unlike Argentina, Dorival Junior’s side may be less reliant on one individual to produce the goods.

Still, Vini Jr is a worthy contender having scored six goals en route to Real Madrid’s Champions League win at Wembley.

It’s hard to write off Brazilian teammates Raphinha and Rodrygo, both of whom tend to pop up with crucial goal involvements for club and country.



Darwin Nunez

Uruguay have the potential to win Copa America and that would mean six matches for Darwin Nunez to bag goals in. However, he could claim the honour in the group stage.

Marcelo Bielsa’s style of football means the Liverpool forward is likely to be the beneficiary of bundles of opportunities inside the six-yard box.

Selecao have the benefit of being in a group with not only the CONMEBOL whipping boys Bolivia, but also CONCACAF side Panama, who are likely to ship a few.

An outburst against either of those sides and two or three goals for Nunez could set him up nicely and a couple of routes may even seal it.



Luis Diaz

Luis Diaz is a fascinating price. Colombia aren’t being given a great deal of respect by the bookies, with the United States and Mexico a similar price to win the tournament.

That’s nonsense in our opinion and the change of continent isn’t enough to write off a Colombia side that is unbeaten in 23 matches across all competitions.

That run includes wins over Brazil, Spain, and Mexico twice and most recently, a 5-1 thumping of Gregg Berhalter’s inept United States side, so they could reach the semi-finals.

He scored twice against Brazil and has a good chance of being the top scorer for Colombia, as he finished with four goals in five matches at Copa America 2021.



Eduardo Vargas

An even more rogue shout than Luis Diaz is Eduardo Vargas. Chile will be in a three-way scrap with Peru and Canada to claim second place in Group A.

If they can do that, there’s a good chance they’ll face a winnable tie against one of the Group B sides and could find themselves playing a semi-final and third-place play-off.

Vargas has 42 goals in 109 caps for his country and although he’s now 34 years of age, it looks like he’ll be preferred to Ben Brereton-Diaz in attack.

He and Alexis Sanchez, who will operate just behind him, could roll back the years against Peru and Canada and bag a few goals.



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