Copa America - Most Valuable XI

Copa America - Most Valuable XI

The oldest international football tournament kicks off in the coming days, which is why we thought it would be the perfect time to compile the most expensive XI of players competing in this year's Copa América. Given that a strong performance at summer tournaments can often earn footballers transfers to bigger clubs, this XI will be compiled based on transfer value according to transfermarkt at the time of writing.

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Most Valuable XI

Copa America - Most Valuable XI

GK: Alisson Becker, Brazil/Liverpool (€28.00m)

Voted the best goalkeeper in the 2019 edition of the Copa América, Liverpool’s shot stopper hasn’t had the most impressive season, ranking 6th in clean sheets in the Prem, while still well inside the top 5 for save percentages at 73.9%. His backup Caoimhín Kelleher came up big for the reds this season in Alisson’s absence, but the 65-time capped Brazilian doesn't seem to be out of favor in either his club or national team. Compared to some of the other transfer values in the list, Alisson’s is quite low, but that is largely down to his position and the fact that the Americas aren’t exactly spoiled with keepers outside of Brazil and Argentina.

LB: Alphonso Davies, Canada/Bayern Munich (€50.00m)

Davies is the only North American to make the cut, though the 23 year old had a bit of a dip in an anomalous season for Bayern Munich. He had a memorable goal at the Bernabeu, but the rest of his season left a lot to be desired with injuries limiting his minutes. Davies is one of the veterans in this very young Canada team, regularly appearing since he was 17, earning him the

title of Canadian footballer of the year 4 times. He also had no small part in helping Canada top CONCACAF qualification for the 2022 World Cup, only the second edition of the tournament they have ever participated in. Their pre-tournament friendlies weren’t terribly impressive, so it is unclear how well they will perform in the Copa América.

CB: Ronald Araujo, Uruguay/FC Barcelona (€70.00m)

After a stellar 2022/23 campaign where he helped Barcelona to a La Liga title, Ronald Araujo wasn’t at his best this season. It all went up in flames with his reckless challenge on Bradley Barcola in the Champions League Quarter Finals, getting him sent off less than a half hour into the tie, a microcosm of the messy Blaugrana season. His form for his country is another matter entirely. Under Marcelo Bielsa, Araujo shone in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers, even grabbing a goal in a landmark win against Argentina at La Bombonera. Uruguay are certainly one to watch this tournament. Araujo’s fitness may be a concern, as he hasn’t broken 2,000 minutes in a season in over 2 years.

CB: Gabriel Magalhães, Brazil/Arsenal (€70.00m)

Arsenal came oh-so-close to breaking the litany of Manchester City title wins this year, and it was thanks largely to their rock solid defense, spearheaded by Gabriel Magalhães and William Saliba. They helped David Raya keep the most clean sheets in the Premier League with 16, with Gabriel having the 9th most blocks in the prem. His centerback partner Saliba is typically

the recipient of the lion's share of the praise, but the 26 year old Brazilian is a fantastic defender in his own right, looking to stake his claim to a starting spot in a new look Seleção side.

RB: Nahuel Molina, Argentina/Atlético Madrid (€28.00m)

One of the starters for Argentina’s World Cup triumph two years ago, Nahuel Molina hasn’t had the best of seasons, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Argentine falls into the 4th percentile for aerial duels won and the 12th percentile for interceptions among full backs in La Liga. His value remains high because he’s only 26 years old, and there is not much competition at right back, with the US’s Antonee Robinson coming in at a close €25 million. Molina will undoubtedly start for Argentina, as his quality on the ball and versatility in attack make him a great asset for Scaloni.

CDM:Bruno Guimarães, Brazil/Newcastle United (€85.00m)

Bruno G has unquestionably been the centerpiece of Newcastle’s renaissance over the past few years. The native of Rio de Janeiro has shone in a very underwhelming season for the magpies with 7 goals and 8 assists in the Premier League. Guimarães played 3,269 minutes at the base of Newcastle’s midfield, where he dominated on both sides of the ball, above the 50th percentile for midfielders in every offensive and defensive stat apart from clearances and aerial duels won. With a contract that keeps him on Tyneside until 2028, it will cost a hefty fee to pry him away from Eddie Howe’s side who are without European football next season.

CM: Federico Valverde, Uruguay/Real Madrid (€120.00m)

A stalwart for the biggest team in club football, Federico Valverde is a swiss army knife for club and country. Most recently being deployed in midfield for los blancos, Valverde has received the blessing of Toni Kroos to wear his iconic number 8 shirt next season, while his Uruguay side looks to win their first Copa América since 2011. His 2 goals and 7 assists in the league helped Madrid to another title, while his only goal in the Champions League was the goal of the season in a shootout against Manchester city. At only 25 years old, it’s clear to see why his value is well above the 9-figure mark.

CM: Enzo Fernandez, Argentina/Chelsea FC (€75.00m)

The young player of the tournament of the previous World Cup hasn’t had the easiest of times adapting to the Premier League since his €121 million move in January of 2023. Enzo Fernandez’s talent on the ball has never been in question. He’s in the 96th percentile for progressive passes among Premier League midfielders, and has been a nailed on starter for the World Champions since their group stage match against Poland in November of 2022. He hasn’t played for the blues since his groin surgery in late April though, so it remains to be seen how fluidly he’ll play in the Copa América.

His midfield partner at Chelsea, Moises Caicedo of Ecuador, narrowly missed out on this list to Bruno Guimarães.

LW: Vinicius Junior, Brazil/ Real Madrid (€180m)

The most expensive player on this team, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Real Madrid’s star forward. Despite missing 12 games due to injury, Vinicius led La Liga forwards in progressive carries and successful take ons per 90, finishing as the second highest scorer on his team in a remarkable season for los blancos. His 15 goals and 5 assists in the league paired with 6 goals and 5 assists in 10 champions league games this season is utterly phenomenal, unquestionably asserting himself as one of the world’s best in his quest for the Ballon D’Or. Vinicius Junior is still only 23, though he hasn’t managed the same impact for Brazil as he’s had on Madrid. This tournament could be his opportunity to earn the adoration of his home country, with Neymar out of the frame due to injury.

RW: Rodrygo Goes, Brazil/ Real Madrid (€110.00m)

Often overlooked due to the escapades of his compatriot, Rodrygo Goes has quietly been one of the most important cogs in the Real Madrid machine for some time now. He is ever reliable, with the highest pass completion rate of forwards in Spanish club football, and he is not shy when it comes to goal scoring either. His numbers may not be as eye-catching as Vini’s, with 10 goals and 5 assists across 34 games, but the goals he does score are often critical. His 2 goals in the quarterfinal tie against defending European champions Manchester City were clutch, especially the one he managed at the Etihad in a hard fought match. Rodrygo also has 6 goals in 23 caps for Brazil, compared to Vinicius’s 3 in 30 caps, perhaps proving better suited to international football than his strike partner.

ST: Lautaro Martinez, Argentina/Inter Milan (€110.00m)

Inter captain Lautaro Martinez led the blue side of Milan to a dominant Serie A win as the top scorer and MVP of the league. Martinez’s 24 goals and 6 assists in 33 league games averaged out to 0.81 goals per 90, unreal numbers from the Argentine. In 57 caps for the albiceleste, he has 22 goals, which places him 9th on the all time top scorer list for the national team. Yet he is not the default starter for the world champions. Scaloni prefers Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez who missed out on this list with a transfer value of €90 million. Coming off a career season, the 2024 Copa América may be the moment that Martinez takes back the starting spot and gets Argentina their 16th trophy, putting them atop the all-time winner list above Uruguay.

This is the most valuable XI possible of players in this year’s Copa América, though it is certainly debatable whether or not this is the best XI players who will be participating as there are some notable absences (namely Messi), largely down to the fact that a player’s age has a large effect on their transfer value.

Author: Venuse, Inc.

Source: Transfermarkt