Football has been ingrained in Latin American culture since its introduction to the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In some cases, football serves as a national identity (Brazil) or can be a terrifyingly powerful tool used by certain organizations (Colombia) (Politics of Football). Considering how dear the sport is to Latin Americans, I am surprised that there does not exist the maxim, “God, Family, Football.” However popular football may be, there is no matching the celebrity of the world’s greatest players.
For the special 100-year anniversary edition of the Copa América tournament, 16 teams (a full list of participating nations can be found here, at http://www.ca2016.com/teams), instead of the typical 12, will compete for the championship of the oldest international soccer tournament on the planet. In most other years, South America’s best players would put their talents on display, with the likes of Neymar Jr., Lionel Messi, and James Rodríguez of Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, respectively, squaring off on the pitch.