The exciting and dramatic tournament that was Copa America 2021 may have come to an end, but not without leaving us plenty to look back on and talk about.
CONMEBOL’s competition ended on Saturday with Lionel Messi hoisting a trophy with Argentina at long last, and that moment punctuated a thrilling few weeks of soccer in South America that saw plenty of memorable moments.
Players like Messi, Neymar, and breakout star Luis Diaz delighted in Brazil with impressive individual showings and sensational golazos, both of which are worth reflecting on before closing the book on this year’s unforgettable and eventful Copa America.
The South American federation has already released its list for the Best XI of the tournament, but SBI is listing its own selections players, along with our picks for the tournament’s best goals.
Here is SBI’s Copa America 2021 Best XI and Top 5 Goals:
SBI’s Copa America Best XI
Emiliano martinez (argentina)
Posted four shutouts in six appearances and was memorably heroic and trash-talking in the penalty shootout win in the semifinals.
right back: danilo (BRAZIL)
Solid on both sides of the ball in the six games he played, helping Brazil concede just three times in the entire competition.
right centerback: marquinhos (BRAZIL)
Anchored the stingy Brazilian back line that recorded four shutouts, made six starts, and authored the opening goal of the tournament.
left centerback: nicolas otamendi (Argentina)
Delivered five strong appearances, including one in the final, to help lead a resolute Argentina defense that surrendered just three goals.
left back: matias viña (URUGUAY)
Might have failed to convert the decisive penalty in the quarterfinals loss, but was strong overall and did his part in Uruguay’s three shutouts in five games.
right midfielder: juan cuadrado (Colombia)
Instrumental in the run to third place, serving as the attacking fulcrum with an array of dribbles, passes, cross, shots, and set pieces in six appearances.
central midfielder: yoshimar yotun (PERU)
Precise in his role as Peru’s midfield link, passing with accuracy while also scoring twice, adding an assist, and hitting 100 caps in his seven starts.
left midfielder: luis diaz (Colombia)
The revelation of the tournament, finishing tied for most goals scored and dazzling for Colombia with his speed, skill, and shooting in five matches.
right winger: neymar (BraziL)
Once again demonstrated a high level as Brazil’s star, as he netted twice and assisted thrice in six games while showing off his trademark flicks and tricks.
striker: Gianluca lapadula (PERU)
Found the back of the net three times and played a direct part in two other goals in seven caps, which also saw him provide a relentless work rate.
left winger: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Stole the show as the tournament’s best player, leading Argentina’s run to the title with four goals and five assists, both competition bests, in seven starts.
Top 5 Copa America Goals
1. luis diaz vs. brazil, june 23
ARE YOU KIDDING, DIAZ 😱 😱
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 24, 2021
2. luis diaz vs. peru, july 9
LUIS DIAZ IN THE 94TH MINUTE 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/oGeUQPWVN8
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 10, 2021
3. lionel messi vs. chile, june 14
MESSI MAGIC ✨
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 14, 2021
4. alejandro ‘kaku’ romero vs. bolivia, june 14
¡Goooooooool de Paraguay! 🔥
Romero le pegó con odio a esa pelota y empata todo para los guaraníes. 😎
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) June 15, 2021
5. lionel messi vs. ecuador, July 3
Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini y nada más. Mejor véanlo. 👁👁
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) July 4, 2021