5 Oldest Players Who Have Featured In Copa America 2024: Lionel Messi Is In 5th Place

Lionel MEssi Is A Copa AMerica Winner
Lionel MEssi Is A Copa AMerica Winner

Copa America is one of the most demanding cup competitions on the planet, both physically and psychologically. It starts with psychological warfare in press conferences and extends well into the pitch, with contestants doing everything in their power to unsettle opponents. Additionally, there is the weight of expectations, with every fan asking their nation’s heroes to deliver the goods at the grandest continental stage.

Younger players tend to cherish these competitions, as they have much more left to prove. Many older players, meanwhile, take a backseat, retiring from international duty and channeling their energy toward club soccer. Thankfully for us fans, there are exceptions — veterans who are still up for a fight even in the twilight years of their careers.

Here are five such warriors who have turned up for their nations in Copa America 2024:

Data: The dataset here from Transfermarkt displays the players’ ages in their last match of the competition.

#5 Lionel Messi (Argentina): 37 years 01 days

Argentina Icon Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi Has Yet To Open His Account In Copa America

Easily the star attraction of Copa America 2024, Argentina leader and legend Lionel Messi was 37 years and 01 days old when he took to the field in the 1-0 win over Chile on June 25. The Inter Miami star played a fine game, completing the most dribbles (7), creating the most chances (5), and hitting the woodwork once. Unfortunately, Messi was not fit to feature in Argentina’s final Group A game against Peru on June 29. But La Albiceleste managed to keep up the good work, bagging a thumping 2-0 win courtesy of a brace from Lautaro Martinez.

Messi’s heroics for Argentina do not need rehashing. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has guided his nation to the Copa America as well as the FIFA World Cup, finishing as the Player of the Tournament on both occasions. He has donned the national jersey in 184 matches, scoring 108 times and providing 58 assists. The maverick has yet to score in Copa America 2024, but we expect it to change when Argentina lock horns with Ecuador in the quarter-finals on Thursday night (July 4).

#4 Alexander Dominguez (Ecuador): 37 years 25 days

Ecuador Goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez
Alexander Dominguez Has Won 77 Caps For Ecuador

Ecuador’s first-choice goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez was 37 years and 25 days old when he took to the field in the goalless draw with Mexico on June 30. Despite being in his twilight years, he has been in stellar form in Copa America 2024, making nine saves, delivering 13 accurate long balls, keeping one clean sheet, and conceding three goals in three games. Had it not been for his reflexes and leadership, Ecuador would not have qualified for the quarter-finals of this highly competitive Copa America 2024.

Dominguez, who made his debut for Ecuador on March 26, 2011, has played 77 international matches, keeping 31 clean sheets and conceding 76 goals.

#3 Luis Suarez (Uruguay): 37 years 05 months 07 days

Luis Suarez Is One Of The Oldest Players In Copa America 2024
Luis Suarez Won The Copa America In 2011

One of Lionel Messi’s closest friends and a leader of Argentine’s fiercest rivals in Copa America, Uruguay star Luis Suarez was 37 years, 05 months, and 07 days when he took to the field for the Group C clash against the United States on July 1. The Inter Miami ace, who has lost his place to in-form striker Darwin Nunez, came off the bench in the 89th minute for a brief cameo.

It is no surprise to see Suarez warming the Uruguayan bench in Copa America 2024, as his glory days are firmly behind him. However, when push comes to shove, the veteran marksman can still pop up with a goal or two, as he has shown in the Major League Soccer (MLS). It will be interesting to see if he gets the chance when Uruguay meet Brazil in the quarter-finals this weekend.

Suarez has played 140 games for Uruguay in his illustrious career, scoring 68 times. He guided his country to the Copa America in 2011, chipping in with four goals and two assists in six matches.

#2 Paolo Guerrero (Peru): 40 years 05 months 28 days

Paolo Guerrero Is The Oldest Outfield Player In Copa America
Paolo Guerrero Is The Oldest Outfield Player In Copa America

In Peru’s final Group A game, they took on the mighty Argentina. They could not put up much of a fight, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat. But it was a milestone game for center-forward Paulo Guerrero, who became the oldest outfield player to play in Copa America 2024.

Aged 40 years, 05 months, and 28 days, Guerrero partnered with 30-year-old Edison Flores in attack. The veteran tried to make things happen in the final third but Argentine defenders covered him well enough, prompting Peru coach Jorge Fossati to take him off in the 57th minute.

Guerrero has played 123 games for Peru in his career, scoring 40 goals and providing 14 assists.

#1 Claudio Bravo (Chile): 41 years 02 months 12 days

Claudio Bravo Is The Oldest Player Used In Copa America 2024
Claudio Bravo Has Played 150 Matches For Chile

Comfortably the oldest player to play in Copa America 2024, Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was 41 years, 02 months, and 12 days old when he represented his country in their Group A meeting with Argentina on June 25. The former Manchester City goalkeeper performed splendidly in the match, making a total of eight saves. Unfortunately, he could not finish with a clean sheet, as Lautaro Martinez’s strike escaped his grasp in the 88th minute.

Bravo, who has played 150 games for Chile, has kept 58 clean sheets, winning the Copa America twice.

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