Top scorers in Copa America history — including Messi, Zizinho, Vargas: Which player has scored the most?

The Copa America 2024 promises to be another spectacular edition of the tournament, as the USA prepares to play host.

Throughout the history of the Copa America, the competition has witnessed some of the greatest names ever to play the game, and the goals have traditionally flowed. 

Here, The Sporting News looks back in the archives to recall some of the names who have made their mark on the championship, and those who have topped the goalscoring charts.

MORE: Which team has won the most Copa America titles?

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

The Copa America has two top scorers from a long and proud history — and they hail from two of the competition’s traditional powerhouses. 

Argentina’s Norberto Mendez and Brazilian Zizinho are the players who have scored the most overall tournament goals, each with 17 to their name. 

“Tucho” Mendez, who spent most of his career with Huracan, achieved the mark across three tournaments (1945, 1946 and 1947), while Zizinho did so in six championships (1942, 1945, 1946, 1949, 1953).

Behind them, with 15 goals each, are the Uruguayan Severino Varela and Peru’s Teodoro Fernandez.

Chile’s Eduardo Vargas and Peru’s Paolo Guerrero could both have the chance to top the scoring charts at the 2024 tournament, as they currently sit on 14 goals apiece.

Lionel Messi is currently on 13 goals, as he attempts to guide Argentina to another famous win in the USA, to follow up their World Cup triumph at Qatar 2022.

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Players with most overall Copa America goals

Name Nation No. of goals
Norbert Martinez Argentina 17
Zizinho Brazil 17
Lolo Fernandez Peru 15
Severino Valera Uruguay 15
Pablo Guerrero Peru 14
Eduardo Vargas Chile 14
Lionel Messi Argentina 13
Ademir Brazil 13
Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 13
Jair Brazil 13
Jose Manuel Moreno Argentina 13
Hector Scarone Uruguay 13


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