Feature

Copa America 2024: Our guide to Brazil's chances

Gabriel Martinelli and Brazil celebrate a goal

Tonight sees the Copa America kick off in the USA, and there will be Arsenal representation at the finals with Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel named in Brazil’s squad.

But how will they get on? We've wrapped up everything you need to know about the tournament, including how to keep track of our duo and how their country might fare during the next few weeks.

What is it?

Copa America

The Copa America is the South American equivalent of the European Championships. Held every four years, this will be the 48th staging of the competition, and includes the 10 nations from CONMEBOL as well as six from CONCACAF in North America.

The USA is hosting the event for the second time, as it prepares itself for the 2028 World Cup.

How does it work

The Copa America logo

The 16 teams will be placed into four groups of four, with the top two qualifying for the quarter-finals. The losing semi-finalists will face off in a third/fourth place play-off, while the final will be held in Miami on Sunday, July 14 - the same day that Euro 2024 concludes.

The winners of both tournaments will then play in the Finalissima at some point in the future.

Who are the holders?

Lionel Messi with the Copa America trophy

Argentina are the current champions after they beat Brazil back in 2021, handing Lionel Messi his first major international trophy, before going on to win the World Cup the following year.

That win saw them tie with Uruguay on 15 successes in the tournament’s history. Brazil meanwhile have won it nine times, but only once since 2007, which came in 2019.

Who will Brazil face?

Gabriel Martinelli celebrates his first goal for Brazil

Our two Gabis will start with a game against Costa Rica in Los Angeles on Monday, June 24 (local time), in the familiar surroundings of Sofi Stadium where they featured for us in pre-season last summer. Our men’s team are due to play there again in July against Manchester United - tickets available.

Four days later they will head to the bright lights of Las Vegas for a meeting with Paraguay, and then the group stage concludes with a game against Colombia in San Jose.

How will they fare?

Gabriel playing for Brazil

Even without the injured Neymar and Ederson, Brazil boast an embarrassment of riches. Allison will be between the posts, while the backline should feature Marquinhos, Eder Militao and Gabriel. Fellow Premier League stars Bruno Guimaraes, Lucas Paqueta, Casemiro and Douglas Luiz are options in midfield, while Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo enter the squad fresh off winning the Champions League with Real Madrid. They also have exciting 17-year-old prospect Endrick as an option, who already has three goals in six appearances for the Selecao.

However, Brazil are under new management with the 61-year-old Dorival Junior handed the national job in January after 1,000 club games in his homeland, but only after Carlo Ancelotti turned them down having seemingly been set for the role.

Since their quarter-final penalty exit at the hands of Croatia at the 2022 World Cup, Brazil have won just four of their last 13 matches. They are currently in sixth position in the CONMEBOL standings for 2026 World Cup qualifying having taken seven points from their opening six matches.

Who are the other contenders?

Uruguay celebrate a goal

Given they are the reigning world champions, it is no surprise to see Messi's Argentina installed as favourites by the bookmakers having kept the majority of their World Cup-winning team as well as coach Lionel Scaloni. Brazil's star-studded squad sees them enlisted as second in the odds. 

Under the management of Marcelo Bielsa and with Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez in their ranks, Uruguay are third-favourites, while Colombia are the other outsiders from the southern part of the continent, who boast Luis Diaz in their ranks but have been placed in Brazil's group.

As hosts, the USA are a dark horse and drew 1-1 with Brazil in their warm-up game, while Mexico could also be a contender after they pushed the Selecao close with a 3-2 defeat a few days earlier, and have a favourable group to advance from.

Full Brazil squad

Brazil line up for a team photo

Goalkeepers: Bento (Athletico Paranaense), Rafael (Sao Paulo), Alisson (Liverpool)

Defenders: Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Gabriel (Arsenal), Guilherme Arana (Atletico Mineiro), Bremer (Juventus), Wendell (Porto), Yan Couto (Girona), Lucas Beraldo (PSG)

Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Joao Gomes (Wolves), Ederson (Atalanta), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Andreas Pereira (Fulham)

Forwards: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Raphinha (Barcelona), Pepe (Porto), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Savio (Girona), Endrick (Palmeiras), Evanlison (Porto)

How can I watch the action?

In the United Kingdom, all games will be shown live on Premier Sports, but with the games being held across the USA, the time difference means there will be some late nights in front of the TV!

For the rest of the world, we’ve pulled together a list of which broadcasters are showing the action in your country.

When our players are playing

All times BST

Tuesday, June 25
Brazil v Costa Rica
Los Angeles | 2am

Saturday, June 29
Paraguay v Brazil
Las Vegas | 2am

Wednesday, July 3
Brazil v Colombia
San Jose | 2am

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Friendly Match
Ticket Info