Copa AmericaMany of the world’s finest strikers are in Brazil to compete in Copa America this month and the race for the Golden Boot looks intriguing. South America has developed a reputation for producing world-class center-forwards in recent years and no other continent can match its overall levels of quality. Neymar is missing the tournament through injury, but several superstars will be in action and it will be interesting to see who tops the scoring charts. These are the leading contenders:

Lionel Messi

The Barcelona captain banged in an incredible 51 goals in 50 games during the 2018/19 season. He fired his team to the league title and cemented his status as one of the greatest players in history, if not the greatest. He has hit 67 goals in 130 appearances for his country, but he is running out of time to win silverware for Argentina. They have been runners-up at the 2014 World Cup and three times in Copa America during his career, but they have never clinched a trophy. He is surely the most devastating forward at this tournament, and a look at the odds at a top bookmaker like Heritage sports will tell you that he is the favorite to win the Golden Boot, but his chances could be scuppered if Argentina does not go far enough. They are great going forward, but poor at the back and weak in midfield, so they may fall short.

Gabriel Jesus

The 22-year-old Man City striker has a strong record for his country, having scored 16 times in 29 games. He is an extremely effective striker as he is blessed with great movement and lethal finishing ability. He may not contribute a great deal in terms of holding the ball up, but you would always back him to enjoy plenty of chances due to his knack of finding space in dangerous areas. With Neymar out, Gabriel will fancy his chances of starting up front for Brazil, possibly alongside the unselfish Roberto Firmino. They are the host nation and favorites to win the tournament, so Gabriel could enjoy plenty of time on the pitch, while the likes of Philippe Coutinho will provide strong service, so he stands a great chance of landing the Golden Boot.

Luis Suarez

Suarez has been one of the best strikers in the world over the past decade and he has won all manner of silverware alongside Messi at Barcelona. He has a great record for Uruguay too, as he has scored 55 goals in 106 games. He is often controversial, as he bites, complains and rubs people up the wrong way, but his talent is undeniable. Suarez is a sensational finisher and he is extremely dynamic in and around the box, so he could well fire his country to glory in this tournament. He won Copa America with Uruguay in 2011 and he will be keen to secure further success this time around.

The Rest

Suarez’s strike partner, Edinson Cavani, is fourth in the betting and he too has a fine record in international football. He has had a stop-start season affected by injuries, but he is a phenomenal finisher, as his record of 134 goals in 186 league games for PSG suggests. Sergio Aguero, the forward who keeps Gabriel out of the Man City team, is next in the betting and he could also enjoy an extremely fruitful tournament. Just like Messi, Suarez, and Cavani, he is approaching the twilight of his career and he will be desperate to secure some international silverware. Firmino is an interesting option, as he does go through bursts of goalscoring form, but his unselfish nature may count against him. Radamel Falcao will lead the line for Colombia and he could make things interesting as they look strong in this tournament. All in all, it looks like a fascinating battle, but the youngster Gabriel could be the man to walk off with the Golden Boot trophy by the end of it.

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