The Copa America 2016’s tournament has come and gone but the outstanding performances of some players has brought a complete turnaround in the career of some, while for others, it’s just an added feather to their caps.
It is not enough just to know the names of the tournament’s Best Eleven Players; how did they start, where are they and what have they done at national and club levels? Find out here-
Commonly known as Claudio Bravo, his full name is Claudio Andrés Bravo Muñoz was born 13 April 1983. He is a Chilean professional footballer and plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona. He started playing with Colo-Colo before moving to Real Sociedad in 2006 were he appeared in 237 official club games; in 2014, he was signed to Barcelona for €12 million winning the treble and the Zamora Trophy in his first season.
Bravo is regarded as one of Chile’s most capped players of all time with over 100 appearances. Since his debut in 2004, he has represented Chile in two World Cups and four Copa América tournaments. He captained his team to the victories of 2015 Copa América and most recently Copa América Centenario.
We know him as Mauricio Isla, the Chilean footballer who plays for Marseille on loan from Juventus was 12 June 1988. No doubt, he is a quick, hard-working, and tactically versatile player capable of playing in several defensive and midfield roles on the right flank, or in the centre of the pitch. Isla started his career in the youth system of Universidad Católica, and later moved to Italian club Udinese in 2007, where he made his professional debut. In 2012, he got a transfer to defend Serie A champions’ side- Juventus and won consecutive league titles during his first two seasons with the team. His full name is Mauricio Aníbal Isla Isla. In 2014, the Chilean national team player was sent on loan for a season to English side Queens Park Rangers, while he also spent the next season on loan with French club Marseille. He has earned over 60 caps for Chile since his debut in 2007, and represented the country in two FIFA World Cups, that is, 2010 and 2014, he was on the team that brought the just concluded Copa América tournament to Chile.
Nicknamed Palmatoria, Jean André Emanuel Beausejour Coliqueo is a Chilean footballer who plays for Colo-Colo in thePrimera División de Chile was born 1 June 1984. He has played in Chile, Switzerland, Brazil, Belgium, Mexico and England, winning the League Cup with Birmingham City and the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic.
Beausejour made his debut for the Chilean national team in 2004 and had made 73 appearances scoring 6 goals. In 2015 and 2016, he was a member of the Copa América winning squads and is the only Chilean to score in two consecutive World Cups (2010 and 2014).
Gary Alexis Medel Soto a full international with over 80 caps since 2007 for the Chilean national team has represented the nation at two FIFA World Cupsand as many Copa América tournaments; he was born 3 August 1987 and currently plays for Italian club Internazionale as a defensive midfielder. He has been nicknamed “Chilean Pitbull” because of his work-rate, physicality, and his aggressive, hard-tackling style of play.
Nicolás Hernán Gonzalo Otamendi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays for English club Manchester City and the Argentina national team as a central defender. Born 12 February 1988, he started his professional career in Vélez Sarsfield and later, Porto, winning eight major titles with the second including three national championships and the 2011 Europa League. Otamendi represented the country at the 2010 World Cup and two Copa América, helping them to the final of the 2015 edition of the Copa America.
Javier Alejandro Mascherano, the second professional Argentine footballer on the list was born 8 June 1984, he plays for Spanish club Barcelona as a defensive midfielder or central defender and is known for his excellent leadership skills and tough marking and tackling style.
In 2003, Mascherano began his career at River Plate, and grew gradually till early 2007, he joined Liverpool on loan, reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League, before he signed with the club for £18.7 million. After three years playing for Liverpool, Mascherano joined Barcelona in 2010, where he changed his position of defensive midfielder to full central defender.
With Barcelona he has won four La Liga championships, two UEFA Champions League titles, and two FIFA Club World Cups, among other honours, with over 100 appearances for the Argentina national football team, making him the second-most capped player in the country’s history, after Javier Zanetti. He twice won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics, in 2004 and 2008, becoming the first male footballer to achieve this double feat since 1968. Between 2008 and 2011, Mascherano served as the captain of Argentina.
Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo started his career with Colo-Colo, Chile’s most successful club, Vidal joined German Bundesliga club Bayer 04 Leverkusen, where he played for four seasons. He moved to Juventus in 2011, where he won Scudetti in all four of his seasons, played in the UEFA Champions League final, and became widely recognized as one of the best midfielders in world football.
Born 22 May 1987, the Chilean footballer who plays as a midfielder for German club Bayern Munich and the Chile national team has earned over 70 caps for the Chilean national team since his debut in 2007, playing in the 2011 and 2015 Copa América tournaments, and the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, helping them to victory at the 2015 Copa América.
Considered as one of the best midfielders in the Chilean Primera División when he was in Universidad de Chile, Charles Mariano Aránguiz Sandoval is a Chilean footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bayer Leverkusen and the Chilean national team.
Born 17 April 1989 he is described by FIFA’s official website as “a crafty, tigerish midfielder of the highest order, notable for his ability to win and distribute the ball, pick out passes and hit the back of the net”
Considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi was born 24 June 1987 and raised in central Argentina,. The Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona is the only football player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d’Or, four of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes. With Barcelona he has won eight La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles, as well as four Copas del Rey.
He holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga, a La Liga season (50), a calendar year (91), a single season (73), a Champions League match (5), and most Champions League seasons (5). Being also a creative playmaker, Messi holds the record for most assists made in La Liga and Copa América. Messi was
As an Argentine international, Messi is Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer with 55 goals in 113 matches. He has represented his country in six major tournaments. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament as its best player and top scorer, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriotDiego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor. After making his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup during the 2006 edition, and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. As the squad’s captain since August 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals of the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Copa América and the Copa América Centenarioin 2016, where he was selected as player of the tournament in the 2014 and 2015 competitions. The latest of him is the sudden retirement from international football after the 2016 Copa América at the age of 29.
Born 19 December 1988, he is popularly known as Alexis Sánchez or just Alexis, he is one of Chilean professional footballers who plays as a forward for English club Arsenal and the Chilean national team. Sánchez was signed by Italy’s Udinese Calcio in 2006. Following successful loans at Colo-Colo and River Plate, he began playing in Serie A. Alexis Alejandro Sánchez, he was signed by Barcelona for £25 million in 2011, making him the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history. Sánchez signed for Arsenal in July 2014 for a fee reported to be £31.7 million, making him the third-most expensive signing in the club’s history after Mesut Öziland Granit Xhaka. Since 2006, he has earned 99 caps, making him the team’s second-most capped player of all time after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. He played in two FIFA World Cups (2010 and2014) as well as three Copa América tournaments.
Eduardo Jesús Vargas Rojas a Chilean footballer who plays as a forward for German club 1899 Hoffenheim and the Chile national team. He was born 20 November 1989. He began is career at Cobreloa, before moving to Universidad de Chile where he won three titles, including the 2011 Copa Sudamericana and was named player of the tournament.
In 2011 he was co-awarded the Chilean Footballer of the Year and also finished as runner-up for the South American Footballer of the Year. Following an £11.5 million move to Napoli, Vargas had subsequent loan spells at Grêmio, Valencia, and Queens Park Rangers before moving to Hoffenheim in 2015.
A full international since 2010, Vargas has earned 58 caps for Chile, scoring 31 goals. He was part of their squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2015 Copa América, and 2016 Copa América, the finishing as joint top-scorer with four goals as they won the latter.
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