Wednesday 26 July 2017

Six reasons why the Copa America is the greatest tournament in the world

Champions: Uruguay triumphed in 2011
Champions: Uruguay triumphed in 2011

Callum Davis

You may have thought that the Fifa World Cup is the greatest footballing show on earth, well, sorry to be the one to tell you - but you're wrong.

The South American equivalent of the European Championships has always been the football hipster's tournament of choice - but this year's event has something in it for everyone to enjoy - and here's why:

1. The players...

The sheer number of world class players representing their countries is staggering. The World Cup is no longer the only time you can see the best players in the world in one place.

Hosted in Chile, this year's tournament will include the current Ballon d'Or, Golden Boot and Golden Ball winners - who said European football was the game's greatest stage?

The World Cup contained some sensational efforts, but let's face it - most of them came from men of South American blood, like these chaps:

2.  The fans...

It's no cliche to say that the South American supporters are the most impassioned bunch to have ever graced the terraces. The fact that so many of them are so stunningly good-looking is neither here-nor-there...

colombia_fans_3336687b.jpg

The enthusiasm of Chile fans literally knows no-bounds. Journalists fled for their life last year when a group of them invaded the Maracana press box.

3.  The insane goalkeepers...

There's something about the air below the equator which seems to breed mavericks between the sticks.

The Copa America is the only tournament in the world where you'll see a goalkeeper bang in a free kick like this...

They're not just flamboyant show ponies either you know - remember this guy?

 4. The fights...

It wouldn't be a proper Copa America without a 22-man brawl. This clash between Paraguay and Venezuela in 2011 ended in a fight that involved players, coaches and stewards alike...

5.  The venues...

Past iterations of the Copa America have been held at such dizzying heights that the players require an iron lung to last the full 90 minutes - remember Anderson requiring oxygen after just 20 minutes in Bolivia?

Although players aren't likely to be in as bad a state as Anderson (let's face it - who is) we should still see some tired legs and stretched games which equals goals, goals, goals!

 

6. The passion...

As Mexico have been extended an invite to this year's tournament, we'll once again be able to enjoy the barmy touchline antics of coach Miguel Herrera...

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