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Copa America Top Goalscorer predictions: Martinez can step up for Argentina
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Enda McElhinney
Lautaro Martinez could be set to take on a starring role for Argentina this summer
Lautaro Martinez could be set to take on a starring role for Argentina this summer

- Argentina won their first Copa America in 28 years in 2021
- Brazil have won five of the last 10 tournaments
- Recommended bet: Lautaro Martinez to be Top Goalscorer

The 48th Copa America begins in the United States this week as 2022 World Cup winners Argentina begin the defence of this trophy for the first time since the 1995 edition.

Argentina ended a 28-year famine in Brazil three years ago and, of course, went on to taste a famous World Cup success in Qatar a year later.

They are favourites to retain the trophy in the United States and should be strong contenders again.

This could be Lionel Messi's swansong international tournament, as he will turn 37 during the event. Argentina's talisman is still playing well in the MLS, but he might now require a little help from his friends.

With that in mind, Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez is an interesting alternative in the top goalscorer market.

Messi's inspiration may run out

Messi finally got his hands on the Copa America in 2021, joint top-scoring alongside Luis Diaz of Colombia as Angel Di Maria fired the winner in the final against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.

The most famous No.10 in world football then helped La Albiceleste conquer the ultimate mountain in Qatar, inspiring his side as they beat France in a memorable decider on penalties despite the hat-trick heroics of Kylian Mbappe.

Messi, who is now plying his trade with Inter Miami in the MLS, has scored more than 100 goals for Argentina and will be the focal point again in this tournament and is 3/1 with LiveScore Bet to be leading scorer.

But as he approaches two decades in the blue and white jersey, it would be unfair to anticipate further domination and, therefore, if Argentina are going to retain the mantle, those around him must step up.

Vinicius Junior to lead Brazil's charge

After finishing the club season as Real Madrid's leading scorer, with a La Liga medal and a Champions League crown – including a goal in the final against Borussia Dortmund – Vinicius Junior will now set his sights on a first major trophy with Brazil.

With 24 goals in all competitions, it was his best season at club level and the soon-to-be 24-year-old is establishing himself as a global talent.

For the Selecao, however, he has scored only three times in 30 appearances and he will have to improve that ratio at a rate of knots to finish as leading scorer in the Copa America.

He is 9/2 with LiveScore Bet to be the leading goalscorer at the Copa America.

Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is now 37 and may pass on the torch to Darwin Nunez
Uruguay forward Luis Suarez is now 37 and may pass on the torch to Darwin Nunez

Nunez could impress for Uruguay

Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez is third choice in the pre-tournament Top Goalscorer market at 6/1 with LiveScore Bet.

He has not been prolific in the Premier League, but he hit double figures in his second season, scoring 11 times amid a tally of 18 across all competitions for the Reds.

His scoring record for Uruguay is an impressive 11 in 23, bolstered by a recent hat-trick in the 4-0 friendly win over Mexico.

Panama, Bolivia and the USA await Uruguay in the group stages and Nunez will be expected to shine with Luis Suarez now turned 37.


The player who might emerge into the spotlight is Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez.

The 26-year-old took his tally of international goals to 24 in 58 caps when he joined Messi in firing a brace in the recent friendly win over Guatemala, making it three in three for his country.

He heads into the Copa America off the back of 27 goals in all competitions for Inter Milan last season, including the Serie A high of 24 as they won Lo Scudetto.

Interestingly, Martinez netted from the spot in the win over Guatemala while Messi was on the field of play – whether that continues during the Copa America is debatable.

At any rate, Martinez is a striker in flying form and his team needs a leader to step up and give the great Messi the support he requires for one more major trophy on the international stage.

The Inter marksman might be man for the job and he looks like good value at 8/1 with LiveScore Bet to top the goalscoring charts.


Copa AmericaBrazilArgentinaUruguayColombiaUSA
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