National Football

Club vs country: why have fallen stars shone at the Copa América?

 • by Football Whispers
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The 2019 Copa América hasn’t been a vintage edition of the South American tournament, with only seven goals scored in the six knockout matches played to date.

However, there could be a surprise – and for many happy – ending if Peru are able to pull off the improbable and defeat hosts Brazil in the final on Sunday.

The Seleção have spluttered through the tournament. There have been moments of brilliance, fleeting glimpses of the Samba flair that defines the country, but much of Brazil’s football has been functional rather than fantastical.

Philippe Coutinho has, though, impressed. Far more so than he’s done during his time at Barcelona, anyway. And he hasn’t been the only big-name player to have produced for his country after struggling for his club.

James Rodríguez, unloved by Real Madrid and unwanted by Bayern Munich, was the shining light for Colombia in the group stages. His trickery and inventiveness brought back memories of his performances at the 2014 World Cup, a tournament at which he became a global star.

And then there is Alexis Sánchez. The Chilean has failed at Manchester United in his 18 months at Old Trafford. At best his displays can be described as ineffective, at worst uninterested.

Yet in the red of Chile, Alexis produced once more. He struck twice in the group stage and grabbed an assist to help his country reach the knockout rounds. The 30-year-old forward then netted the winning penalty in a quarter-final shootout success against Colombia before Chile suffered a shock 3-0 defeat against finalists Peru.

The performances of the three players named above begged one question; why do these players shine for their countries but not their clubs?

That’s what we’ve attempted to answer in this week’s edition of Three Minute Myths. Let us know your thoughts by commenting on the video and let us know what issue you’d like us to tackle by tweeting us at @FB_Whispers.

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