The Copa America will begin in the second week of June, marking the return of the South American continental championship. This year’s event will feature some of the world’s elite footballers competing for the prestigious trophy with a lengthy and famous history. As the kick-off date gets closer, it’s time to take a look back at some of the most noteworthy records set during Copa America in terms of goalscoring prowess.
1) Norberto Mendez (Argentina): 17 goals
Norberto Mendez, the greatest goalscorer in Copa America history, has scored more goals than Gabriel Batistuta and Diego Maradona. After World War II, Mendez joined the Argentine national team and had a hugely successful 10-year career with his country. Mendez helped Argentina win the Copa America three times in a row, scoring 17 goals throughout his competition career.
2) Zizinho (Brazil): 17 goals
Zizinho is the highest-scoring Brazilian in the competition. He managed a feat that Pele, Garrincha, and even Ronaldo Nazario couldn’t. None of them has scored more than 15 goals in Copa America. In his three spells at the event, Zizinho scored 17 goals.
3) Severino Varela (Uruguay): 15 goals
Varela is Uruguay’s most renowned footballer in the competition, having scored 15 goals in numerous Copa America editions despite never winning the Golden Boot. He is still Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer in Copa America.
4) Teodoro Fernandez (Peru): 15 goals
Fernandez is still Peru’s leading goal scorer in Copa America. His most significant contribution came in the 1939 Copa America when he guided Peru to victory and won the Golden Boot and Best Player awards. In all of his Copa America tournament appearances, he scored 15 goals.
5) Paolo Guerrero (Peru): 14 goals
Peru forward Paolo Guerrero is the highest active goalscorer in his country’s football history, with also being the only active player on the list. With 14 goals, the 37-year-old sits well with the most prolific goal scorers in Copa America history.
6) Hector Scarone (Uruguay): 14 goals
In the 1920s and 1930s, Scarone was Uruguay’s all-time leading striker. During his international career, he scored 13 goals in the competition and won four Copa America titles. Scarone was one of the first South American artists to gain a foothold in Europe.
7) Ademir (Brazil): 13 goals
Ademir is regarded as one of the greatest forwards in Brazilian football history and was a key member of the team that won the Copa America in 1949. In total, he scored 13 goals in three Copa America appearances and is recognized as one of the best Brazilians to ever compete in the tournament.
8) Jose Manuel Moreno (Argentina): 13 goals
Moreno is regarded as one of Argentina’s greatest footballers of the first part of the twentieth century. He netted 13 goals in various Copa America editions and won the tournament with Argentina in 1942, winning the Golden Boot as well.
9) Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina): 13 goals
Gabriel Batistuta, widely regarded as Argentina’s best striker, was a major success at Copa America events. In 1991 and 1995, he won the Golden Boot in both editions of the competition. In 1991, he scored six goals, followed by one in 1995.
10) Jair (Brazil): 13 goals
Jair da Rosa Pinto ruled Brazilian football before Pele or Garrincha became legends. In his club career, the attacking midfielder recorded over 450 goals. Jair scored a total of 13 goals in his Copa America appearances, including nine goals in the 1949 edition.