While Argentina star Lionel Messi is the 2021 Copa America top scorer, the mercurial is still trailing Copa America’s all-time top scorer Norberto Méndez, also from Argentina. Méndez had played 17 matches for the South-American nation and managed to score the same number of goals.
Norberto Méndez is joined by Brazil’s Zizinho, who also has 17 goals in the South American football championship, but Zizinho attained the feat in 33 matches – 15 more than Mendez.
Below is the top 20 list of all-time top scorers in Copa America history.
Copa America top scorer list: All-time
|8||José Manuel Moreno||16||13|
Chile | Eduardo Vargas | 14 Copa America Goals
Among the currently active players on this list, Chile’s Eduardo Vargas sits at the top with 14 goals from 23 Copa America matches. Since making his international debut for the Chile national team in 2010, Vargas has been a mainstay for his relentless work rate upfront. He has 40 goals for his team so far in over 100 games and was significantly responsible for Chile’s 2015 and 2016 Copa America-winning campaigns when top scorer Vargas ended up scoring four and six goals respectively.
Peru | Paolo Guerrero | 14 Goals in Copa America tournaments
One of the footballing legends of the Peru national team, Paolo Guerrero had debuted for the national team back in 2004 and has since become Peru’s top goalscorer by tallying 38 goals. He had been a regular in the Copa America and FIFA World Cup for the national team and played a major role in helping his side finish third in the 2011 and 2015 editions, where he was the Copa America top scorer and was shortlisted among the 59 Ballon d’Or nominees. He replicated that feat in the 2019 edition as well, ending as the golden boot winner with three goals to become the all-time top scorer in the history of the tournament back then.
Other notable Copa America top scorers, who were also superstars across other club and international tournaments are Jose Manuel Moreno, Luis Suarez, Lolo Fernandez, Hector Scarone and more.
Copa America top scorers list: By edition
|Year||Hosts||Champions||Top Scorer (Goals)|
|1916||Argentina||Uruguay||Isabelino Gradín (3)|
|1917||Uruguay||Uruguay||Ángel Romano (4)|
|1919||Brazil||Brazil||Arthur Friedenreich (4), Neco (4)|
|1920||Chile||Uruguay||José Pérez (3), Ángel Romano (3)|
|1921||Argentina||Argentina||Julio Libonatti (3)|
|1922||Brazil||Brazil||Julio Francia (4)|
|1923||Uruguay||Uruguay||Vicente Aguirre (3), Pedro Petrone (3)|
|1924||Uruguay||Uruguay||Pedro Petrone (4)|
|1925||Argentina||Argentina||Manuel Seoane (6)|
|1926||Chile||Uruguay||David Arellano (7)|
|1927||Peru||Argentina||Alfredo Carricaberry (3), Segundo Luna (3), Roberto Figueroa (3), Pedro Petrone (3), Héctor Scarone (3)|
|1929||Argentina||Argentina||Aurelio González (5)|
|1935||Peru||Uruguay||Herminio Masantonio (4)|
|1937||Argentina||Argentina||Raúl Toro Julio (7)|
|1939||Peru||Peru||Teodoro Fernández (7)|
|1941||Chile||Argentina||Juan Marvezzi (5)|
|1942||Uruguay||Uruguay||Herminio Masantonio (7), José Manuel Moreno (7)|
|1945||Chile||Argentina||Norberto Méndez (6), Heleno de Freitas (6)|
|1946||Argentina||Argentina||José María Medina (7)|
|1947||Ecuador||Argentina||Nicolás Falero (8)|
|1953||Peru||Paraguay||Francisco Molina (7)|
|1955||Chile||Argentina||Rodolfo Micheli (8)|
|1956||Uruguay||Uruguay||Enrique Hormazábal (4)|
|1957||Peru||Argentina||Humberto Maschio (9), Javier Ambrois (9)|
|1959||Ecuador||Uruguay||José Sanfilippo (6)|
|1963||Bolivia||Bolivia||Carlos Alberto Raffo (6)|
|1967||Uruguay||Uruguay||Luis Artime (5)|
|1975||Various||Peru||Leopoldo Luque (4), Ernesto Díaz (4)|
|1979||Various||Paraguay||Jorge Peredo (4), Eugenio Morel (4)|
|1983||Various||Uruguay||Jorge Burruchaga (3), Roberto Dinamite (3), Carlos Aguilera (3)|
|1987||Argentina||Uruguay||Arnoldo Iguarán (4)|
|1991||Chile||Argentina||Gabriel Batistuta (6)|
|1993||Ecuador||Argentina||José Luis Dolgetta (4)|
|1995||Uruguay||Uruguay||Gabriel Batistuta (4), Luis García (4)|
|1997||Bolivia||Brazil||Luis Hernández (6)|
|1999||Paraguay||Brazil||Rivaldo (5), Ronaldo (5)|
|2001||Colombia||Colombia||Víctor Aristizábal (6)|
|2011||Argentina||Uruguay||Paolo Guerrero (5)|
|2015||Chile||Chile||Eduardo Vargas (4), Paolo Guerrero (4)|
|2016||United States||Chile||Eduardo Vargas (6)|
|2019||Brazil||Brazil||Everton (3), Paolo Guerrero (3)|
|2021||Brazil||Argentina||Lionel Messi (4), Luis Díaz (4)|
Having first started in the year 1916, Copa America has seen numerous top strikers of South American countries making a mark over the decades. While tallying three-four goals remained enough to clinch the tournament award of golden boot for the initial few editions, the trend changed when Argentina’s Manuel Seoane became the 1925 Copa America top goalscorer by tallying six goals in a single edition.
His record was broken in the very next Copa America finals though as Chile’s David Arellano became the first footballer to score seven goals in a single edition of the tournament. Scoring seven in the tournament soon became the norm after that with players like Raúl Toro Julio, Teodoro Fernández, Herminio Masantonio, José Manuel Moreno and José María Medina soon achieved the milestone.
The next step up came in the 1947 Copa America edition which Uruguay’s top scorer Nicolás Falero ended with eight goals. It was broken in the very next edition by Brazil’s Jair da Rosa Pinto, who tallied nine goals in 1949. The 1959 Copa America tournament will always be remembered for the king of football Pele. One of the best strikers to ever play the game, Pele had scored eight goals to win the golden boot as well as the best player award of that edition.
Interestingly, Lionel Messi hadn’t been a Copa America top scorer until 2021 despiet making his debut in the tournament back in 2007. Argentina had finished as the runners-up on three different occasions (2007, 2015, 1016) since Messi had made his debut and the PSG star could only make his mark last year when his score four goals to win the golden boot as well as lead Argentina to their fifteenth Copa America title.
Copa America top scorer list: By Nation
|Rank||Teams||Copa America editions||Matches Played||Total Goals Scored|
Argentina are Copa America’s top scorers as a team
One of the two most successful teams in the tournament, 15-time Copa America winners Argentina have the most number of goals in the tournament’s history. So far, Argentina have participated in 43 editions where they have played 202 matches in which they have tallied a whopping 474 goals.
The second nation to score the most goals is Argentina’s archrivals Brazil, who have 430 goals in 191 matches in Copa America. The Uruguay team, which has won the championship 15 times like Argentina and is the nation to play the most number of matches in the competition, sits third on the list with 410 goals from 206 matches.
Who was Copa America’s top scorer in 2021?
Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Colombia’s Luis Diaz were the top scorers in Copa America 2021 with four goals each to their names. Apart from the Golden Boot, Messi also won the player of the tournament award as he led Argentina to their 15th Copa America title.
Who was Copa America’s top scorer in 2020?
Lionel Messi and Luis Diaz were the joint top scorers in Copa America 2020. Copa America 2020 was postponed to 2021 owing to the global pandemic.
Who was Copa America’s top scorer in 2015?
Chile’s Eduardo Vargas and Peru’s Paolo Guerrero were the joint top scorers in the 2015 Copa America edition with four goals to their name each.
Who is Copa America’s top assist maker?
Argentina’s Lionel Messi is the top assist maker in Copa America’s history with 17 assists to his name in the 34 matches that he played since making his debut in the tournament back in 2007.
Who was Copa America’s top assist maker in 2021?
Lionel Messi was the top assist maker in Copa America 2021 with five assists and four goals to his name. He is followed by Neymar with three assists and two goals.