Top 10 Highest Scorers in the Copa America History

Highest Scorers in the Copa America History: The Copa America holds the record for being the oldest international football tournament. Throughout the years, it has showcased the growth of several famous South American countries. While teams like Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina have largely dominated, the tournament has always been fiercely competitive, delivering numerous unforgettable matches. Let’s delve into the complete details on Copa America All time Top Scorers.

Copa America All time Top Scorers

Top 10 Highest Scorers in the Copa America History

Staying true to the South American football spirit, the Copa America has witnessed an impressive tally of goals and assists over the years. Diverse goal scorers have left their mark, with some gaining more recognition than others.

Notably, Neymar (7) and Luis Suarez (6) have shone brightly in recent editions. However, surprisingly, none of these notable players rank among the top 10 goal scorers in the tournament’s history. Here, we present the list of the all-time top 10 goal scorers in the Copa America.

Norberto Mendez – Argentina (17 goals)

In the same way that Zizinho’s remarkable performances in the Copa America surpassed those of renowned Brazilian icons, the Argentine legend Norberto Mendez also outshone the likes of Batistuta, Lionel Messi, and Diego Maradona in the history of the tournament.

Mendez, a key figure for Argentina during the post-World War II era, enjoyed significant success representing his nation for a little over ten years.

His passion for the Copa America was evident as he played a pivotal role in Argentina’s triumph during the post-WWII era, contributing to their consecutive victories in the years 1945 to 1947.

Throughout this period, he accumulated an impressive tally of goals, ultimately concluding his career with a remarkable 17 goals in the Copa America. Alongside Zizinho, he remains the all-time top scorer of the competition, setting a record that seems unlikely to be surpassed.

Zizinho – Brazil (17 goals)

Zizinho achieved a feat that even iconic Brazilian footballers such as Pele, Garrincha, or Ronaldo couldn’t accomplish – scoring more than 15 goals in the Copa America. Remarkably, he netted 17 goals during his illustrious career, also securing the prestigious Golden Ball in the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

Within the tournament closer to his home, Zizinho exhibited an unstoppable prowess, effortlessly racking up goals. Presently, he stands as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer in the Copa America, setting a record that future Brazilian stars will find challenging to surpass.

Lolo Fernandez – Peru (15 goals)

Even though Guerrero had the opportunity to surpass his record during the 2021 edition, Lolo Fernandez continues to hold the title of being Peru’s highest scorer in Copa America history.

This renowned center-forward represented his nation in the early 20th century and was acknowledged as one of the most formidable forwards in South America.

Fernandez left an indelible mark during the 1939 Copa America, leading Peru to victory in the tournament and claiming both the Golden Boot and the Best Player award.

Throughout his appearances in the Copa America, he scored an impressive 15 goals, solidifying his place in the annals of Peruvian football history.

Severino Varela – Uruguay (15 goals)

Severino Varela, the most honored player in Uruguay’s Copa America history, played a pivotal role in establishing Uruguay’s supremacy in the early 20th century.

While he only secured the championship in the 1942 edition, he made a resounding impact with his goal-scoring prowess in various editions.

Varela consistently scored 15 goals in multiple installments of the South American championship with Uruguay. Although he never clinched a Golden Boot, he continues to hold the distinction of being the top scorer for his country in the competition.

Eduardo Vargas – Chile (14 goals)

By netting two goals during the group stage of the Copa America 2021, Vargas elevated his goal-scoring count to 14. His scoring contributions came in the form of crucial strikes during Chile’s 1-1 draws against Argentina and Uruguay.

Having been a part of Chile’s victorious squads in the 2015 and 2016 Copa America tournaments, Vargas initially made his Copa debut in 2015, marking his first goal against Ecuador. Impressively, he has managed to score in each of the last four editions of the tournament.

Paolo Guerrero – Peru (14 goals)

Paolo Guerrero stands as one of the leading goal-scorers in the history of the Copa America, and with his ongoing professional football career, he has the potential to climb even higher.

At 37 years old, he has accumulated over 100 appearances for his country and has enjoyed considerable success in the Copa America, tallying a total of 14 goals across several editions.

The former Bayern Munich star claimed the title of Copa America top scorer in three separate editions, the most recent being in 2019, where he notched three goals, sharing the honor with the Brazilian standout Everton.

With his anticipated participation for Peru in the 2021 edition, the possibility looms for Guerrero to ascend to the position of the highest scorer in the history of the Copa America, should fortune favor him.

Ademir de Menezes – Brazil (13 goals)

Ademir de Menezes, famously known as ‘Queixada’ due to his distinctive underbite, was undeniably formidable when it came to scoring goals for Brazil.

Revered as one of the premier center-forwards in the history of Brazilian football, Ademir tasted ample success on the international stage, notably as part of the victorious 1949 Copa America squad.

His outstanding performance earned him the prestigious Best Player of the Tournament award for that edition.

Furthermore, his commendable consistency in scoring across various Copa America editions resulted in a total of 13 goals in the South American championship. Even to this day, he is acknowledged as one of the finest Brazilian players to have graced the esteemed competition.

Gabriel Batistuta – Argentina (13 goals)

Gabriel ‘Batigol’ Batistuta, widely celebrated as one of Argentina’s most exceptional strikers, achieved significant triumphs in the Copa America representing his nation. He secured the Golden Boot accolade in two editions, in 1991 and 1995.

In the 1991 edition, he impressively scored six goals, followed by an additional four in 1995, outshining renowned players in both instances.

Batistuta clinched the championship title twice with his country and ultimately amassed a total of 13 goals in the Copa America tournaments he participated in, establishing himself as Argentina’s all-time leading goal scorer, until Lionel Messi surpassed his record in 2016.

Jair – Brazil (13 goals)

Jair da Rosa Pinto, known simply as Jair, predates the era of Pele and Garrincha, reigning as a dominant force in Brazilian football.

Excelling in the role of an attacking midfielder, he perfected the art of being a free-roaming playmaker in the 20th century, boasting a remarkable tally of over 450 goals in his club career and achieving considerable success on the international stage.

Although Jair clinched just one Copa America trophy with Brazil in 1949, his individual brilliance shone brightly. His total goal count in the tournament amounted to 13, with a staggering nine goals credited to his name in the 1949 edition alone.

Jair holds the record for the most goals in a single Copa America tournament, cementing his legacy as one of the finest players in the competition’s storied history.

Jose Manuel Moreno – Argentina (13 goals)

Jose Manuel Moreno, esteemed among the top five South American players of the 20th century, was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Argentine football during its formative years in the early 1900s.

Throughout his career, which spanned various clubs, he notably contributed to his national team’s success, securing two Copa America titles.

Clearly relishing the competition, Moreno displayed his goal-scoring prowess, accumulating a total of 13 goals across several editions of the Copa America.

His most prolific showing was in 1942, leading Argentina to victory with an impressive seven goals, ultimately claiming the Golden Boot award in that edition.

Hector Scarone – Uruguay (13 goals)

Hector Scarone’s tenure with Uruguay coincided with an era in football when formations and strategies were still relatively unfamiliar, relying more on raw strength and inherent talent to surpass opponents.

Operating in the inside right position, akin to that of a right-wing forward, Scarone exhibited an equal measure of skill as both a winger and a clinical striker, propelling him to great heights.

Scarone’s contributions were pivotal as he secured four Copa America titles with Uruguay, complemented by a total of 13 goals throughout his career in the competition.

Notably, he achieved the remarkable feat of scoring five goals in a single game against Bolivia in the 1926 edition, a record that remains unchallenged to this day.

Lionel Messi – Argentina (13 goals)

At long last, Messi secured his first-ever international trophy with Argentina, triumphing over Brazil in the final with a 1-0 scoreline.

Throughout this year’s tournament, Messi’s exceptional contributions, encompassing four goals and five assists, were instrumental in steering Argentina to their first significant title in 28 years.

Furthermore, his five goals in the Copa America 2021 elevated Messi’s overall Copa goal tally to 13. Notably, the Argentine maestro also holds the record for the most assists in the history of the Copa America, with an impressive tally of 17.

List of Copa America All time Top Scorers

Here is the Highest Goal Scorers in the Copa America History List:

S.NoPlayerGoals ScoredNationality
2Norberto Mendez17Argentina
3Severino Varela15Uruguay
4Lolo Fernandez15Peru
5Gabriel Batistuta13Argentina
8Jose Manuel Moreno13Argentina
9Hector Scarone13Uruguay
10Lionel Messi13Argentina


Who is the top goal scorer in the history of the Copa America?

As of 2023, Lionel Messi, the acclaimed Argentine star widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time, stands as one of the foremost top scorers in the history of the Copa America.

Although trailing behind another Argentine legend, Norberto Méndez, in terms of total goals, Messi’s exceptional contributions have solidified his position among the leading goal scorers in the prestigious tournament.

How many goals has Lionel Messi scored for Argentina in Copa America?

Lionel Messi has scored 13 goals in 34 Copa America matches for Argentina.

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