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Who Has Made the Most Appearances in Copa America History?


Sergio Livingstone (Chile) – 34 appearances

With 34 total appearances in Copa America, former Chile goalkeeper Sergio Livingstone holds the record for most appearances at the tournament. He achieved this record throughout six tournaments between 1941 and 1953. However, he never won the competition, with his best finish being third place on two occasions.

Livingstone made his debut for Chile at the South American Championship, now known as the Copa America, in 1941, in a 5-0 win. He was considered the best player in the tournament as he and Chile finished third.

Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 34 appearances

Joint-first in this list and almost certainly due to leapfrog Livingstone is Lionel Messi. The Argentine also has 34 appearances, and will captain his nation once more at the upcoming tournament. Not only will he break the record for most appearances, he will also be taking part in his seventh Copa America, one away from the record.

It could be a tournament of milestones for Messi, as he also has the opportunity to become the highest ever goalscorer in the competition. He is currently on 13 goals, and with five goals he can overtake Noberto Mendez and Zizinho at the top. In total, he has 180 caps and 106 goals, both Argentina records.

If Argentina successfully defend their Copa America title this summer, it will be a fourth international trophy for Messi. He has already won the Copa America, World Cup and UEFA Cup of Champions within the last three years.

Zizinho (Brazil) – 33 appearances

Zizinho of Brazil is third on this list, having made 33 appearances at Copa America spanning across six tournaments between 1942 and 1957. He was an attacking midfielder who played 53 times in total for his national team, scoring 30 goals. In six attempts, he won the competition just once, and this came in 1949, his fourth time at the South America Championship, which is what the Copa America was called until 1975. This was Brazil’s first title in 27 years.

However, despite lifting the trophy just once, Brazil were always in the mix during Zizinho’s career. On four occasions they finished runners up, and third place once. Individually, the player enjoyed plenty of success in front of goal. With 17 goals in his 33 games, he is the competition’s joint-highest scorer alongside Argentinian Norberto Mendez. He will most likely be overtaken by Lionel Messi in the upcoming summer tournament.

Victor Ugarte (Bolivia) – 30 appearances

Next up is Bolivian striker Victor Ugarte, who played for his country between 1947 and 1963. He appeared in five different Copa America tournaments, winning one title for his country. Their one victory came in his final tournament in 1963, a fitting way to end his international career. It was also a special achievement as the competition was hosted in Bolivia. It is also the first and only major title in the nation’s history. Before this, the highest they had finished during Ugarte’s career was fourth place in 1949.

The forward is Bolivia’s top scorer at Copa America, netting nine times in total. Five of those came in 1949, whilst he scored twice in both 1953 and 1963. Overall, he has made 45 appearances and scored 16 goals for his country, ranking him third in each category.

Maximo Mosquera (Peru) – 28 appearances

Peru striker Maximo Mosquera made 28 appearances at Copa America, which ranks him fifth all-time. He played at four different tournaments between 1947 and 1957, though was unable to help his team to any higher than a third place finish, which was achieved in 1955. Peru have won the tournament twice in their history, but these triumphs were in 1939 and 1975.

Could any active players break into the top five?

The closest active player to the top five is Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. He currently has 25 appearances in Copa America, three less than Maximo Mosquera. However, whilst he may be named in the upcoming squad, the 41-year old is unlikely to be the first choice keeper for Chile manager Ricardo Gareca, with Brayan Cortes and Gabriel Arias assuming more prominent roles. In their World Cup qualification games, Cortes started all six, with Arias his deputy. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that Bravo will add to his appearances barring injuries.

Aside from Bravo, there are no active players that are close to entering the top five.