Predicting every game of Copa America 2024: Who will win it?

Will Vinicius Jr. (left) and Brazil win the Copa America? Or Lionel Messi (right) and Argentina? Could Christian Pulisic and the USMNT be a surprise favorite? ESPN Illustration

The last time the United States hosted a Copa America, in 2016, Brazil got knocked out in the group stages. The U.S. men's national team lost 4-0 to Argentina in the semifinals. And Argentina lost the final in penalties to Chile at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets. It was Argentina's second loss to Chile in a Copa America final in as many years, and it led to Lionel Messi -- presumably distraught at being unable to live up to the legacies created by Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick on that same field -- retiring from international soccer immediately following the match.

While Messi has spent his career expanding our collective imagination of what's possible on a soccer field and in a soccer career, I don't think anyone could've accurately predicted where we'd be eight years later. Messi is in Year 2 of playing for Inter Miami, a soccer team that didn't exist in 2016. He spent two barely memorable seasons playing for Paris Saint-Germain. Oh, and he unretired so he and Argentina could finally win the Copa America and World Cup in consecutive years in his mid-30s.

Elsewhere, Chile have since failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup. The other semifinalists in 2016 missed one a piece: the U.S. failed to qualify for 2018, Colombia for 2022. Brazil didn't make it past the quarterfinals of either tournament, and just two players from their 2016 Copa team are still around in 2024 (Alisson and Marquinhos).

Mexico, meanwhile, continue to lose to the USMNT in the Nations League, a tournament that didn't exist eight years ago. And Canada are managed by Jesse Marsch -- a statement that would've been meaningless in 2016 but not so today because he's managed multiple clubs in the Champions League and the Premier League since the Copa America Centenario.

The Copa America is the kind of tournament that can change the course of soccer as we know it, and it really matters to the teams that participate. So, given all the twists and turns we've had since the last time a Copa America was played on U.S. soil, why not look at the state of the 2024 tournament and make some predictions for where this all might end up?

It's time to look into our stats-filled, analytics-powered crystal ball and predict how every single game of the 2024 Copa America plays out and who, ultimately, will be crowned the winner. Let's go!