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Copa America: Messi, Nunez, Vinicius, Alvarez – our Golden Boot predictions

The Copa America is just around the corner as a host of South America's finest goalscorers do battle in the USA.

Darwin Nunez

The Copa America will see some of football’s finest goalscorers attempt to fire their countries to glory.

The likes of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and more possess plenty of talent in front of goal and the battle for the Golden Boot is sure to be tightly contested.

So who are the favourites to finish as the competition’s top marksman? Read on as we pick out the top contenders.

Odds are taken from Bet365 and were correct at the time of writing.

Lionel Messi – Argentina (3/1)

Lionel Messi may be 36 but he is still proving he has an eye for goal with his displays for both Argentina and Inter Miami.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner has 12 goals in 12 MLS games this season, while he recently scored his 105th and 106th goal for his country in a warm-up fixture against Guatemala.

His last international tournament yeielded seven goals and ended with the former Barcelona superstar lifting the World Cup for the first time in Qatar.

Do not bet against the diminutive forward producing more magic on the international stage.

Vinicius Jr – Brazil (4/1)

Vinicius Jr’s influence for Brazil is arguably reaching the same level as Messi’s for Argentina – particularly with Neymar missing the tournament.

He comes into the tournament off the back of winning the Champions League with Real Madrid in which he scored in the finak at Wembley.

That said, his international record is pretty measly. The skillful forward has netted just three times in 30 appearances, last netting for the Selecao almost a year ago.

Even still, the 23-year-old is sure to be one of Tite’s main sources of goals in the USA for a side hoping to go all the way.

Darwin Nunez – Uruguay (7/2)

Darwin Nunez has – perhaps unfairly at times – a repuation as an unreliable figure in front of goal at club level for Liverpool.

But for all his missed chances, the 24-year-old still enjoyed an 18-goal campaign for the Reds and his international record of late is even more impressive.

Nunez has scored eight goals in last five Uruguay games, thriving in Marcelo Bielsa’s attack-minded outfit.

La Celeste will have aims of upsetting established duo Argentina and Brazil while Stateside and the Liverpool forward could well be a smart pick for the prize.

Julian Alvarez – Argentina (8/1)

Messi is not the only striker their Group A opponents should be looking out for, with Julian Alvarez continuing his rise on the international and domestic stage.

The 24-year-old bagged 19 goals as he won another Premier League title with Manchester City in 2023-24 and can slot into mutiple positions in Argentina’s attack.

Alvarez has not scored since the World Cup in 2022 but with four during a triumphant campaign in Qatar, the forward knows how to turn it on when it matters.

Other contenders

Lautaro Martinez (7/1) and Rodrygo (8/1) are two others to watch from Argentina and Brazil but there a number of prolific goalscorers from the outside nations.

Elsewhere, Colombia are hoping to surprise a few and will need Liverpool’s Luis Diaz (40/1) to bring his shooting boots.

The same goes for Jonathan David (40/1 at Sky Bet) and Christian Pulisic (40/1), who will be hoping to inspire Canada and USA to respective glory.


Predicting Golden Boot winners are a thankless task, especially when the field is as wide as it seems to be at this tournament.

Both Messi and Vinicius will be among the goals but could well see the goalscoring burden shared among their star-studded squads.

That is why we are backing Uruguay’s main man Nunez to scoop the award.

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with experience writing for national title, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.