Copa America 2015: top goalscorers until now
The Campeonato Sud Americano de Football, better known as the Copa America has made quite a name for itself in the 44 editions held over the years.
The bar has been set pretty high Second to none football players helped raise the bar by
becoming the best South American scorers from the last century.
Although the Uruguay team has had the most championships and appearances in their portfolio, many of Copa America’s top scorers came from different teams. Chile and Argentina, for example, have all the reasons to brag about their performances: Argentina have scored a total of 422 goals in Copa America games to date and have the highest average of goals scored per match.
One-time guests Japan, on the other hand, hold the title for the fewest goals scored in the tournament.
The highest number of goals scored during South American championship came in the course of the 1949 edition and until today, there were 2,492 Copa America goals scored in total in all editions of the tournament.
As for the players who have scored the most Copa America goals over the years, here are the all-time top scorers in South American championships…
17 GOALS: Méndez and Zizinho
Norberto Méndez shares his position with one of the top Brazilian players of the 20th century, Tomás Soares da Silva, better known as Zizinho. Each scored 17 goals, one for Argentina, the other for Brazil.
Méndez won three Copa América titles in 1945, 1946 and 1947 and three First Division titles in Argentina. At the age of 35, he retired from football.
Zizihno found himself in the international spotlight when he scored two magnificent goals at the 1950 World Cup, helping his country progress towards the big trophy. But Uruguay got in the way, defeating Brazil with 2-1.
In 53 caps for his national team, he scored 30 goals. The greatest football player of all time, Pelé, said that Zizinho was “a complete player. He played in midfield, in attack, he scored goals, he could mark, head and cross”.
15 GOALS: Lolo and Severino
Teodoro Fernández Meyzán, better known as Lolo, scored 15 goals for Peru becoming the second most important football player in his country, next to Teófilo Cubillas. He died in Lima, in 1996, leaving behind a great deal of records no one could reach: he was an all-time scorer of the biggest football local derby, the Peruvian Super Clasico; he held the title for the highest scoring rate per Olympic matches (a total of five goals); and he was a top goal scorer in the history of Universitario de Deportes club, with 157 goals.
Lolo is a symbol that will live forever in football’s history known as “The Cannoneer” (El Cañonero).
Severino Varela played for Uruguay on 24 occasions, and he made sure people knew
about his talent. He scored 19 goals for the country, with 15 of them coming in Copa America games.
Varela became a Boca Juniors when he scored a famous goal against his former side River Plate in 1943, in a moment described by a local daily newspaper as “the great goal of mystery”.
13 GOALS: Ademir, Batistuta, Jose Manuel Moreno, Jairzinho and Scarone
The joint-fifth position is occupied by some titanic personalities. All of the names in this group are great players in their own right. They all scored 13 Copa America goals for their country, but let’s take it step by step.
First up is Ademir Marquez de Menezes, who was nicknamed “Queixada” (“Jaw”). Just so you can get the big picture, he had a prominent underbite.
A powerful striker, he scored 32 goals for Brazil during his 39 total appearances.
Gabriel Batistuta, Batigol or El Ángel Gabriel. Call him what you want, but do bear in mind that he bagged 13 South American championship goals, and ticked off other 297 during 476 appearances in league, cups and continental matches in an illustrious career.
Batistuta’s Copa America goals were just 13 of the 56 he scored for Argentina. Diego Maradona considers him the best striker of all time, with exceptional technique and style. Although he is retired now, his achievements for Fiorentina are not forgotten. He has a life-size bronze statue erected by fans in Florence to pay their respect to their former star striker. He really helped boost Argentina’s reputation – a reputation that’s still very powerful. So if you’re ever betting on the Copa America, it wouldn’t do any harm to bet on it being Argentina who emerge victorious.
Like Batistuta, another Argentine who lifted his nation to cloud nine was Jose Manuel Moreno. El Charro won first division league titles in four countries, becoming the first player to achieve such a feat. He scored 19 goals for the national team and 224 others for his club sides.
Jair Ventura Filho’s, or Jairzinho, is another big personality on this list. Nicknamed “The Hurricane”, he played for Brazil for 18 years, scoring 33 goals in 81 appearances. He is one ahead of Zinedine Zidane on this list of top 100 greatest players of the 20th century.
As for Hector Scarone, he scored 31 goals for Uruguay, and 13 of them were during Copa America tournaments. At only 19 years old, he scored the goal that secured victory over Argentina to secure the 1917 title for Uruguay in what was his fourth international cap.
He left the stage shortly after winning the 1930 World Cup with Uruguay.
12 GOALS: Roberto Porta and Ángel Romano
Both Roberto Porta and Angel Romano delivered 12 monumental goals for the Uruguay team during Copa America competitions. After playing one match for the Italy national team, Porta went back to Uruguay to represent them, He later led the team as coach during the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
The other icon, Romano, scored 28 goals for Uruguay. Between 1911 and 1927, he represented his nation 69 times. He won the Copa America in five out of eight attempts.
11 GOALS: Víctor Ugarte and Herminio Masantonio
Bolivia enter the list of the top Copa America with the help of Víctor Agustin Ugarte, a real national icon who has a stadium in Potosí, Bolivia, named in his honour.
He scored 16 goals scored for the national team in 16 years of hard work. Ugarte scored 11 of his international goals in the Copa America, including the two against Brazil that won the 1963 Copa América.
Another Argentine representative on this list, Herminio Masantonio played for the Huracán club, where he scored 254 goals until he was recruited by the Defensor Sporting Club in 1943. He scored 11 goals across the 1935 and 1942 Copa América tournaments.