Copa América Pits Brazil Against Colombia
Brazil Will Face Colombia In Next Year's Copa América
The groups for Copa América 2023 have today been drawn. Brazil, Argentina and Chile were the three top seeded teams, meaning they had no chance of being drawn against one-another. Mexico and Honduras were invited to the tournament, where their 'B' teams will compete against South America's finest.
For Christian Schäfer, this will be his managerial debut in a major international competition. The German took the reigns of Brazil in July following a seven year spell as manager of Dynamo Dresden, which culminated with an impressive victory in an all-German UEFA Champions League final. Schäfer was sure to be hoping for an easy group to give his side the best possible chance of progressing.
However, of the three groups drawn, Schäfer can certainly say that his side's group will prove to be the most competitive. The Seleção will face Peru, Honduras B and, finally, Colombia in Group B. The average FIFA World Ranking of the sides drawn in Brazil's group is an impressive 35th, while the average rankings in Group A (45th) and Group C (37th) are lower.
Colombia (FIFA World Ranking: 23rd) are expected to be Brazil's main challengers for the top spot in the group. Their record in the most recent Copa América competition does go against them, however, having failed to progress from a group which contained Argentina, Mexico B and Japan B in 2019. They did, however, reach the semi-finals in 2016, where Brazil themselves defeated them. Colombia then ran out victorious in the third-place play-off.
Colombia's squad contains plenty of attacking talent in the shape of Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodríguez, SL Benfica attacking midfielder Juan Fernando Quintero and Borussia Dortmund star striker Daniel Dionisi. Leicester City's Éder Álvarez Balanta and Paris Saint-Germain's Jeison Murillo will be tasked with breaking down opposition attacks, and will be Neymar & Co.'s toughest match in the group stage.
Honduras B (FIFA World Ranking: 62nd) are one of the two invitees to the competition. There really isn't much to say about Honduras themselves, except that they finished in 4th place in this year's Copa Centroamericana competition. Star players include Deportivo Toluca striker Anthony Lozano, and FC Sion midfielder Mario Rodriguez.
Peru (FIFA World Ranking: 48th) will be looking to snatch a top two finish in the group, and certainly have the potential to do so. Peru reached the semi-finals last time out, losing to Argentina, but then went on to win the third-place play-off against Venezuela.
Peru's prized players come in the form of Marseille holding midfielder Renato Tapia, Galatasaray winger André Carillo and Manchester City winger Oscar Huerta. These players have plenty of talent between them and could cause serious problems for opposition in the tournament.
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