The reigning Copa America champion, Argentina, is beginning its title defense that starts in 16 days. Having called up a 29-player provisional squad, head coach Lionel Scaloni is now scouting to see who makes his eventual 26-man roster for the tournament. There are sure-fire inclusions that have made the trip to Miami to begin training. Lisandro Martinez in defense, Chelsea’s Enzo Fernandez returns from injury and Angel Di Maria is ready for his last international tournament.

However, the top talent that is with the Argentina squad is Lionel Messi. Moreover, Argentina is making it easier to incorporate the 36-year-old who turns 37 on June 24. Argentina flew to Miami on Saturday night from Buenos Aires to start its Copa America training regiment, with Messi staying in Florida. He played in Inter Miami’s 3-3 draw against St. Louis CITY on Saturday while the team was flying. Unsurprisingly, he scored in that game for his 12th goal in as many MLS games this season.

That game was at Chase Stadium, the home of Inter Miami, which will be Argentina’s base camp during the pre-Copa friendlies. Argentina will practice at the venue, even though the club is not playing either of the friendlies at Inter Miami’s home ground.

On June 9, Inter Miami plays Ecuador at Soldier Field in Chicago. Argentina and Ecuador are in different Copa America groups, but they could meet as early as the round of 16 in the tournament. Therefore, fans attending the game could have a preview of a knockout-stage contest. Five days later, the 2022 World Cup champions return east to Commanders Field in Landover, MD, to play CONCACAF side Guatemala. Tickets to both of those friendlies are available on Vivid Seats, where World Soccer Talk readers can save $20 on their first purchase.

Argentina enters Copa America preparations in Florida as tournament favorites

There is no denying the squad of players at Scaloni’s disposal is talented. The only player who played in the World Cup Final who is not in the squad is Paulo Dybala. Even though the Roma forward did not feature in Scaloni’s group of 29, it is not for poor performances. He had 26 goal contributions in 39 games with Roma this season. It was a surprising omission, but it speaks volumes about the level of players in the group of forwards.

Therefore, Argentina can call upon the experience and ability of the players in the squad. That gives it the slightest edge over a country like Brazil or Uruguay. They rank second and third in the betting odds, respectively. Of course, that is subject to change. If Argentina plays poorly in its two pre-tournament friendlies and some of those players are suddenly unavailable, Argentina is at risk. The thing about this squad is that it is deep. Players like Alejandro Garnacho or Valentin Barco may not get ample playing time. Still, they are two difference-makers that Lionel Scaloni can look to.

Now that the squad is in Florida in the United States, it is time to formally start looking forward to its matchups. Argentina opens the tournament in Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when it faces Canada.


Copa América 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Copa!
Copa América Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Copa games live in 2024
Key Dates: Learn All the important dates to mark on your calendar
Copa (United States of) América: South America's biggest tournament comes back to the USA
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer