The 47th edition of Copa America concluded on Sunday as Argentina lifted the coveted trophy by defeating Brazil in the final showdown. While Lionel Messi won his first major international trophy with his national side, Argentina won the tournament after a long wait of 28 years. Colombia finished third after defeating Peru in the play-off game. The tournament was a fantastic spectacle for the fans as we got to see some incredible individual performances from the players as well. Looking back at contributions of players during the historic event in Brazil, here is SportsTiger's best XI of Copa America 2021.
Team of the tournament (Formation: 3-1-4-2)
GK - Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)
The Argentina goalkeeper was undoubtedly one of the players of Copa America 2021 as he conceded only two goals throughout the whole tournament. The 28-year-old produced some crucial saves for his side in their campaign, with the most important being his three penalty stops against Colombia in the semi-finals. Hence, Martinez is an undisputed pick in this side.
CB - Marquinhos (Brazil)
The PSG captain was solid like a rock in defense for Brazil in the tournament. The hosts conceded only two goals in their campaign and the credit for the same goes to Marquinhos. Apart from his defensive heroics, the 27-year-old also scored a goal against Venezuela. He played all the matches for Brazil in the tournament, which reflects the importance of him in his side.
CB - Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)
The 33-year-old centre-back has often been criticized for his mistakes throughout his career, especially while playing for Argentina. Otamendi really needed to step up his game in this tournament and he certainly did that in style. The veteran defender proved to be a reliable force at the heart of Argentina's defense and played a key role in his side's historic triumph.
CB - Thiago Silva (Brazil)
The experienced campaigner did not play all the matches for Brazil but was called upon for all the big games. Just like what he did with Chelsea this season, Thiago Silva chipped in with valuable contributions whenever he played a formidable partnership with Marquinhos. Considering the impact Silva made for Brazil in the matches he played, he gets a place in the best XI.
CDM - Casemiro (Brazil)
When it comes to the best defensive midfielders in the world right now, there is none better than Brazil's Casemiro. The Real Madrid star was a shield to Brazil's defense throughout the tournament and was one of the most crucial players in the side. Apart from his tackling and ball-winning abilities, Casemiro also chipped in with a game-winning goal against Colombia in group stages.
RM - Juan Cuadrado (Colombia)
The tireless midfielder was at his absolute best for Colombia in the tournament. Juan Cuadrado posed a major threat down the right flank to all the opponents and troubled the defenders with his pace. Getting a chance to play further up for his national side, the 33-year-old certainly enjoyed his role. Cuadrado wrapped the tournament by scoring a magical free kick against Peru in the third-place playoff clash.
CM - Lucas Paqueta (Brazil)
The Lyon midfielder was the find for Brazil in the tournament as he proved to be the unexpected hero for his side. Lucas Paqueta was the only goal-scorer for his side in the knockout stages, scoring the only goals against Chile and Peru in quarters and semis respectively. The 23-year-old was certainly one of the best players of Copa America 2021.
CM - Rodrigo De Paul (Argentina)
The Udinese midfielder was the unsung heroes of Argentina's historic triumph in Brazil. Rodrigo De Paul put in some impressive performances throughout the tournament but saved his best for the finale. Apart from 4 tackles and 11 duels won, the 27-year-old provided an outrageous assist for Angel Di Maria in the finals which handed Argentina their first Copa America title in 28 years.
LM - Luis Diaz (Colombia)
The Porto winger finished the tournament as a joint-highest scorer with 4 goals. Luiz Diaz produced some special performances for Colombia in the tournament, with his bicycle kick against Brazil being the most memorable one. The 24-year-old also scored a brace against Peru which guided Colombia to 3-2 victory in the third-place playoff encounter.
ST - Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Argentina's skipper led from the front and put on a magical show in the tournament to fulfill his dream of winning an international trophy with Argentina. The 34-year-old ended the tournament with some breathtaking numbers - 4 goals, 5 assists and 21 chances created. Apart from all these, Messi also stepped up to take a crucial penalty for his side in the penalty shootout against Colombia in semis.
ST - Neymar (Brazil)
After missing the last two editions, Neymar was keen to put in an impressive show for Brazil this year. The 29-year-old certainly did not disappoint his fans as he ended the tournament with two goals and three assists in five games. Apart from his fantastic stats, it was his impact on the field that made difference for the hosts and he was undoubtedly one of their best players.