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Five La Liga players to watch during Copa America 2024 in the USA


New Delhi, Jun 20 (IANS): Just a few days after Euro 2024 got underway in Germany, the United States is set to host the 2024 Copa America. The upcoming tournament, scheduled to kick off on Thursday with the game between Argentina and Canada at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, will feature several La Liga EA Sports stars, who will have the opportunity to compete for the trophy on American soil.

A look at the five La Liga players who fans should keep an eye on during the 2024 Copa America:

Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid & Brazil): In pursuit of a first title with his country

After leading Real Madrid to the La Liga and Champions League trophies this season, Vinicius Junior has set sights on winning his first title with the Brazilian national team. The Selecao are considered favourites in their bid to celebrate a 10th Copa America success and Vinicius is regarded as the leader of an extremely talented team.

The Real Madrid forward ended the 2023/24 campaign with 24 goals across all competitions, including a clincher in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley just a few weeks ago.

Vinicius produced some extraordinary performances last season and, should he manage to inspire Brazil to Copa America glory, he will be considered as a front-runner to win the Ballon d’Or award too.

Ronald Araujo (FC Barcelona and Uruguay): The defensive pillar of La Celeste

Following an FC Barcelona campaign with several ups and downs, Ronald Araujo has joined up with his Uruguay teammates in preparation for the highly-anticipated Copa America. Injury issues prevented the talented center-back from making an appearance in the 2021 edition, which means that Araujo will now have the chance to take part in the competition for the first time.

Having already become established as the leader of Barca’s defence, the 25-year-old defender will look to help Uruguay overtake Argentina in their joint tie for the most Copa America titles. Both nations currently have 15 and Araújo is determined to win his first.

Working under legendary coach Marcelo Bielsa, Araujo will be competing alongside Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde and Atletico de Madrid center-back Jose Maria Gimenez.

Rodrigo de Paul (Atletico de Madrid & Argentina): Seeking another international title

Having become a mainstay in Argentina’s midfield, Rodrigo de Paul will look to lead the Albiceleste to yet another trophy. After winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2021 Copa America, Argentina are the clear team to beat.

The Atletico de Madrid midfielder started in all seven Argentina games on their way to their third World Cup and in all but one of their seven duels in the last Copa America. De Paul has recorded 64 international caps across all competitions, in which he has registered 10 assists and netted two goals.

As such, he is expected to be in the starting XI of a solid Argentina side that also includes his Atleti teammate Nahuel Molina and Sevilla FC left-back Marcos Acuna, as well as Real Betis players Guido Rodriguez and Germán Pezzella.

Endrick (Real Madrid & Brazil): A chance to see Real Madrid’s future star

After landing Brazilian wonderkids Vinicius and Rodrygo, Real Madrid continued to comb the Brazilian market for more potential stars. Los Blancos were quick to spot the talents of Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa, known as Endrick, and reached a deal with Palmeiras that will see the Brazilian forward join the reigning Champions League winners this summer.

Considered Brazil’s next big thing, Endrick has already broken several records, having become the fourth-youngest player to score for his national team at the age of 17 years and 246 days. In that 1-0 friendly win against England, the prodigy also became the youngest player ever to score an international goal at Wembley.

In fact, Endrick has already netted three goals in six appearances across all competitions to become the first player under the age of 18 to find the back of the net in three consecutive matches for the Brazilian national team.

He may not be considered a starter yet, but in the upcoming Copa America, he will surely offer glimpses of his skillset ahead of his arrival at Real Madrid.

Savio (Girona FC & Brazil): A winger looking to continue his excellent form

Savio Moreira de Oliveira, known as Savio, was one of the players who took La Liga by storm in 2023/24. Having joined Girona FC on loan from French side Troyes, the Brazilian prodigy started in 35 of his team’s 38 games in a historic campaign for the Catalan club, contributing to the team’s third-place finish in the league and their first-ever Champions League qualification. The 20-year-old winger recorded nine league goals, as well as 10 assists, which earned him a call-up to participate in the 2024 Copa America with the Brazilian national team.

Standing out for his ability to dribble past opponents and his flair in the final third, Savio is expected to provide the Selecao with some extra firepower in an attack that already includes Vinicius and Rodrygo. It should be noted that the Brazilian team will feature more La Liga stars besides, such as Real Madrid centre-back Eder Militao and FC Barcelona winger Raphinha.

 





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