10 La Liga star players set to light up Copa America 2019
This year's tournament will see 25 players from LaLiga compete for the continental title, more than from any other European competition.
With the latest instalment of the historic tournament set to kick-off this Friday in Sao Paolo, here are 10 La Liga stars who are set to showcase the best that Spanish football has to offer.
This year’s tournament will see 25 players from LaLiga compete for the continental title, more than from any other European competition.
1. Lionel Messi [Barcelona and Argentina]
Barcelona and Argentina captain Messi will be aiming for his first trophy with his country, having had a stellar personal 2018/19 campaign when he scored 36 goals in 34 games on the way to a record-breaking 10th career LaLiga Santander title. The man to watch, as always.
2. Giovanni Lo Celso [Real Betis and Argentina]
Creative midfielder Lo Celso was a revelation on loan at Real Betis from Paris Saint Germain last season, with nine goals and five assists in 32 LaLiga games for the always entertaining side from Seville. The Argentine, who made his transfer permanent in April, is no doubt a future star of the world game and will be key in Argentina’s quest for a first Copa America title in over 25 years.
3. Eder Militao [Real Madrid and Brazil]
Real Madrid fans will be eager to see their new defender Militao in action for Brazil, with the 21-year-old's athleticism and understanding of the game impressing hugely at former club Porto. The Sao Paolo native, who’ll move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer for a fee reported to be around €50 million, should bolster an already-packed Brazil defence.
4. Arthur Melo [Barcelona and Brazil]
Arthur’s first LaLiga campaign could not have gone much better, with the intelligent playmaker settling in quickly at the Camp Nou and playing a key role in their LaLiga title win. Having drawn comparisons to Barça and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez – who said that Arthur could “mark an era at Barcelona” – for his composure on the ball and ball-playing abilities, Arthur will be a mainstay in the Brazilian midfield for many years to come
5. Santiago Arias [Atletico de Madrid and Colombia]
Attack-minded right-back Arias had an impressive first year in LaLiga with Atletico de Madrid. The man from Medellin is highly favoured by Diego Simeone and also Colombian coach Carlos Queiroz; Arias has picked up almost 50 senior caps since making his international debut back in 2013.
6. Fede Valverde [Real Madrid and Uruguay]
Rangy and composed midfielder Valverde was a real bright spot amid a difficult campaign for Real Madrid last season, establishing himself as an important squad member at the Bernabeu despite being just 20 years old. The Montevideo native, who started his career at Peñarol before moving to the Spanish capital in 2016, has cemented his place in the national squad since scoring on his debut against Paraguay in 2017.
7. Maxi Gomez [RC Celta and Uruguay]
It was not always easy as Celta battled relegation last year, but bullish centre-forward Gomez continued his development with a hugely important 13 goals in 35 LaLiga Santander games. Strong, decisive and deadly in the air, the Uruguayan is the latest in a long line of world-class strikers to play for La Celeste.
8. Gaku Shibasaki [Getafe and Japan]
Japan’s guest appearance means more time in the spotlight for Getafe’s creative midfielder Shibasaki, who has famously scored iconic goals against both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Gaku, who made the move to Europa League candidates Getafe from CD Tenerife in 2017, will provide the creative spark in the Japanese midfield in Group C where they face Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile.
9. Guillermo Maripan [Alaves and Chile]
25-year-old Alaves centre-half Maripan was a rock at the back for LaLiga surprise package Alaves last season, when the Basque side’s success was based on team organisation and solid defence. The Santiago-born centre-back, who started out at Universidad Catolica, will be looking to take the step up to widespread international recognition this summer.
10. Roberto Rosales [Venezuela and Espanyol]
Former Malaga right-back Rosales was immense in Espanyol’s late season surge, hitting a vital goal on the final day as the Catalans clinched Europa League football next year. He’ll be key for the Vino Tinto down the right flank.
La Liga players with each country at the tournament:
Brazil: Casemiro, Eder Militao [Real Madrid], Filipe Luis [Atletico de Madrid], Arthur, Philippe Coutinho [Barcelona].
Venezuela: Yangel Herrera, Juan Pablo Anor [Huesca], Roberto Rosales [Espanyol], Mikel Villanueva [Gimnastic], Darwin Machis [Cadiz CF].
Peru: Luis Advincula [Rayo Vallecano]
Argentina: Lionel Messi [Barcelona], Ramiro Funes Mori [Villarreal], Giovanni Lo Celso [Real Betis].
Colombia: Santiago Arias [Atletico de Madrid].
Paraguay: Hernan Perez [Espanyol].
Uruguay: Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin [Atletico de Madrid], Luis Suarez [Barcelona], Cristhian Stuani [Girona], Fede Valverde [Real Madrid], Maxi Gomez [Celta Vigo].
Japan: Gaku Shibasaki [Getafe]
Chile: Guillermo Maripan [Alaves], Arturo Vidal [Barcelona].
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