Two Copa America winners medals and no goals, Roberto? Fraud.

9 world-class players we can’t believe have never scored at the Copa America

The Copa America has been graced by great goalscorers from Pele to Lionel Messi – yet some legends of the sport have failed to find the net in the competition.

Whether they played for nations who made early exits in the competition or were simply unlucky, this lot do not appear in the record books.

We’ve picked out nine superstars, both past and present, who never scored in the Copa America.


In the year of his Ballon d’Or win, Kaka requested not to be selected for Brazil 2007’s Copa America squad and cited tiredness after his exploits for AC Milan as his reason. Fair enough.

Injuries kept Kaka out of subsequent Copa squads and one of the finest players of his generation hasn’t scored in the competition as a result.

AC Milan's Ricardo Kaka celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot to put his side back on level terms. UEFA Champions League - Group D - Celtic v AC Milan - Celtic Park. 03 October 2007.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player nominated for the 2007 Ballon d’Or award?

Federico Valverde

Part of a talented Uruguay squad at the 2024 finals, you’d back Valverde to end his inexplicable drought at the Copa that encompasses nine matches at the 2019 and 2021 tournaments.

The Real Madrid midfielder faces the USA, Bolivia and Panama in a group Marcelo Bielsa’s side are expected to dominate. If he doesn’t score now, he never will.


Jairzinho is one of the greatest and most influential wingers ever to have played football – but he is still a surprise inclusion on this list.

He played at three World Cups for Brazil but never made it to any Copa America tournament. Criminal.

READ NEXT: 7 world-class players we can’t believe have never played at the Copa America

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every team to win the Copa America?

Roberto Carlos

Accompanied by great stars like Ronaldo, Cafu and Denilson, Roberto Carlos was one of the key players in Brazil’s back-to-back successes in 1997 and 1999.

The full-back has made 21 Copa appearances for Brazil – only Zizinho, Claudio Tafferel and Djalma Santos have made more – and provided plenty of assists.

But no goals. Fraud.

Alfredo Di Stefano

Di Stefano is complicated because the great man played for three separate national teams, chiefly Spain, a famously European nation.

The Real Madrid legend also played for Colombia and his native Argentina back in the late 1940s and early ’50s, but he never made it to a Copa America with either country.

Poor guy never made it to a World Cup either.

Carlos Alberto

Scorer of one of the great World Cup goals (you know the one), Carlos Alberto never scored at the Copa America because he is another who also never played at the tournament.

The bloke was your World Cup-winning captain just five years before, and he was only 30 years old when the 1975 Copa America kicked off. Make it make sense.

Esteban Cambiasso

Scorer of another of the great World Cup goals (you know the one), Cambiasso only scored five goals in 52 appearances for Argentina so it’s perhaps not surprising to see the midfielder listed here.

The former Inter Milan (and Leicester) man played at the 2011 tournament, which Argentina hosted, but they were knocked out in the quarters by Uruguay. Ouch.

Esteban Cambiasso celebrates scoring for Leicester City in the Premier League game against West Ham United. King Power Stadium, Leicester, April 2015.

READ: A tribute to Esteban Cambiasso and his final stand with Leicester City

Matias Fernandez

A legend for Chile, Fernandez scored his penalty in the 2015 Copa America final shoot-out against Argentina with a beautifully rifled shot past Sergio Romero.

But the former Villarreal and Fiorentina midfielder still appears on our list as he failed to score in the 2015 tournament and was ruled out of Chile’s successful title defence 12 months later with injury.

Tomas Rincon

Ex-Torino, Juventus, Genoa, and Hamburg midfielder Rincon has played for Venezuela since 2008 and represented his country at five previous Copa Americas.

An extremely underrated baller, holding midfields together for almost two decades, with a Scudetto and a Coppa Italia to his name, we’re starting the campaign to get some respect put on Rincon’s name.

It’s a campaign that would pick up wider momentum should he actually score at this year’s tournament. We’re rooting for you, Tomas…