The season may be over, but there is one last summer party before we move onto the new season. The 44th edition of the Copa America kicks of in Chile this Thursday. The tournament which crowns the champions of South America, and probably the most exciting tournament behind the European Championships.
This time around, we have 12 nations contributing to the fun over the next few weeks. The likes of Brazil and Argentina will of course be there, with the likes of Colombia and Chile looking to sneak in and steal the crown.
The hosts Chile will be looking to use their home advantage and finally win the tournament, they have finished runners up on 4 occasions, and will see this as a great chance to break their duck. Chile put in a great show last summer at the World Cup, and were unlucky to lose to Brazil on penalties. With star players Alexis Sanchez and Arthur Vidal. They will look to go deep into the tournament.
Brazil and Argentina will of course be among the favorites to capture the title. For Brazil, it has been all about redemption. After their slaughter at the hands of Germany last summer. A victory here will help kick start their road to recovery. Though they possess one of the best talents in the world, in Neymar, the Brazilians are in transition. Dunga has been bought back to stabilize the ship. Their eternal rivals across the border look in better shape. Argentina were so close to the world title 12 months ago, and will be looking to make some amends by winning this title in style. Ranked as the top nation in the region, and a squad containing the lethal attacking talents of Messi, Aguero & Co. they will feel confident about go all the way.
Colombia will also be among the top picks for the competition. They were one of the most spectacular teams at the last World Cup, and attracted several new fans with their splendid attacking football. Their team is of course spear-headed by their golden boy, James Rodriguez. The stand out player in Brazil last year. Though the supporting cast of Falcao, Jackson Martinez, Carlos Bacca should also provide much hope for glory.
The Copa America has a tradition of inviting countries from outside the confederation to their tournament. This time, Mexico and Jamaica have accepted an invite to join the party. Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia make up the rest of the participants. So come 4th of July, we will find out the new Champions of South America, let the games begin!