Lionel Messi’s Crown Prince Can Shine at the Copa America

Alejandro Garnacho in copa america 2024
Alejandro Garnacho (Credit: Getty Images)

Lionel Messi turned 37 on June 24 and his reign on the pitch is not far away. That’s why, today more than ever, the performance of the youngsters who are shining right now is more important. And what better showcase to stand out as the crown prince of the best player in the world than the Copa America USA 2024?

On this occasion, a group of high-quality teenagers give a touch of freshness to the Copa America. This new wave of football from the three Americas and the Caribbean appears to make a replacement for their respective national teams and also to show off their individual skill. Most are forwards or midfielders.

Also Read: Venezuela Qualifies for the Quarterfinals of the Copa America with Faith Intact

Three of these youthful pleiad stand out clearly. The Brazilian Endrick, the Argentine Alejandro Garnacho, and the Ecuadorian Kendry Paez.

At just 17 years and 11 months old, Endrick made his professional debut with Palmeiras in 2022 and has already scored 21 goals for his club. He made his debut with the Auriverde team last November and is already considered the future heir to Ronaldo “El Fenomeno”.

In the Copa America, he entered for Vinicio Jr. when there were 19 left to finish the match against Costa Rica, which ended tied 0-0.

At the end of 2022, Real Madrid acquired Endrick’s transfer for around 40 million fixed dollars and a maximum of 30 more based on results.

Meanwhile, Garnacho is one of the promises of the team coached by Lionel Scaloni. Son of a Spanish father and an Argentine mother, he was born in Madrid 19 years and 11 months ago. He plays with Manchester United and debuted in the Premier League in 2022. He has scored 15 goals with his club. Scaloni has the forward among his favorites for the generational change.

Paez is the great hope of Ecuadorian football. He is 17 years old and a month and a half old. He plays in his country with Independiente del Valle, which has been known for developing talents, but he has already been signed by English club Chelsea for 20 million dollars. In 2023 he made his debut in professional football and with the national team.

His debut in the Copa America was not successful because Ecuador fell 2-1 against Venezuela. The match was complicated because after the expulsion of the scorer Enner Valencia, the team from the middle of the world was left with 10 players and Paez was very lonely without the possibility of associating with a teammate.

For his part, Kervin Andrade is one of Venezuela’s promises. He is 19 years and two months old. He debuted in the first division with Deportivo La Guaira in 2021. Two years later he was loaned to Fortaleza in Brazil and in 2024 he debuted not only in that country’s championship but also with Vinotinto.

Since the Argentine Gustavo Alfaro took over the reins of the Costa Rica national team in November 2023, he decided to get the most out of the veterans and at the same time give the young people a chance. Consequently, the Ticos arrived at the Copa America with four players under 20 years of age.

There is Andy Rojas, 18 years and six months old; Jaylan Mitchell, 19 years and eight months old; Warren Madrigal, 19 years and 10 months old; and Josimar Alcócer, 19 years and 11 months old.

Two of them contributed to Costa Rica’s historic equality against the Auriverde team as they had always lost. Mitchell started and Madrigal entered in the 64th minute to refresh the Ticos’ lead.

Jamaicans Kaheim Dixon and Karoy Anderson, both 19 years and eight months old, also trust that this Copa America will launch them into stardom. Attacker Dixon entered in the 80th minute in the Reggae Boys’ 1-0 loss against Mexico.

Canadian Luc de Fougerolles, aged 18 years and eight months, and Argentine Valentin Carnoni, aged 19 years and one month, are also emerging as interesting bets in this new crop of talents. Neither of them has yet made their debut in the Cup.

Of all of them, only De Fougerolles and Mitchell are defenders, the others are attackers and look straight at the goal with all the ambition and dreams of youth.

The teenagers of the Copa America USA 2024

Kendry Paez Ecuador 17 years, one and a half months Flyer

Endrick Brasil 17 years and 11 months Forward

Andy Rojas Costa Rica 18 years, six and a half months Forward

Luc de Fougerolles Canada 18 years, eight and a half months Defender

Valentín Carboni Argentina 19 years, one and a half months Volante

Kervin Andrade Venezuela 19 years, two months, and 12 days Steering wheel

Kaheim Dixon Jamaica 19 years, eight and a half months Forward

Karoy Anderson Jamaica 19 years, eight months Flyer

Jayland Mitchell Costa Rica 19 years, eight months Defender

Warren Madrigal Costa Rica 19 years, ten and a half months Forward

Josimar Alcocer Costa Rica 19 years, 11 months middle Forward

Alejandro Garnacho Argentina 19 years, 11 and a half months Forward

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