Football fans are already excited ahead of what promises to be a superb summer of action, and those levels of anticipation will be cranked up again on Sunday as the draw for the 2016 Copa America Centenario will be made.
To celebrate 100 years since the competition's inception, a tournament has been arranged out of sync with the usual four-year cycle. Chile won the Copa for the first time ever last summer on home soil and are one of 16 teams set to take part in the United States, the only time in its existence the competition has been staged outside of South America.
Needless to say, the draw is absolutely crucial when assessing a team's chances of glory. Here are all the key details you need ahead of the event, including viewing details, seedings and pots, as well as a rundown of two of the key contenders for the title.
|Copa America 2016: Pots|
|Pot 1||Pot 2||Pot 3||Pot 4|
|United States||Colombia||Costa Rica||Bolivia|
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21
Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)/12:30 a.m. (GMT, Feb. 22)
Live Stream: Univision (US)
TV Info: Univision and FOX Sports 2 (US)
After heartbreaking losses in the final of two major tournaments in the last two successive summers, Argentina will be seeking to sample their first piece of silverware for 30 years.
Lionel Messi and his team-mates came so close in Chile as they eventually lost out on penalties to the vibrant hosts. They also fell agonisingly short at the World Cup in 2014, with Germany's Mario Gotze breaking the hearts of the Albiceleste in extra time. Surely this group of players is due a stroke of good fortune?
In Messi, they'll always have a chance. The Ballon d'Or winner remains the standout player in world football and enjoyed a remarkable 2015 with Barcelona. As we can see here, courtesy of Bleacher Report UK, his goalscoring for the Blaugrana has long been remarkable:
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Lionel Messi’s goal-scoring haul at Barcelona is astounding: https://t.co/0YaAsn49yu https://t.co/8gAFRLL7KA2016-2-18 21:33:36
However, as Argentina manager Tata Martino noted recently, there is a huge amount of expectation on the 28-year-old when it comes to the national team.
"Messi hasn't achieved everything yet," the manager recently told Ezequiel Scher and Lucas Bertellotti of Goal. "It should be clear to everyone that his life isn't all plain sailing. In football, things don't always go his way. It's clear that not having won with Argentina weighs on him."
Granted, it shouldn't be completely down to Messi because Argentina have a tremendous squad of players. Player for player, theirs will be the best squad at the tournament, and Martino should be looking to the likes of Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to inspire this team to victories, too.
However, the mental block this group possesses seems to be unconquerable. So while the Albiceleste are likely to thrill with some fine attacking football, it's tough to envisage them going all the way at this juncture, even with their mercurial skipper pulling the strings.
Having underwhelmed massively at the 2015 Copa America, Brazil will be thankful they have the opportunity to immediately rectify the wrongs of last summer at this tournament.
It was a competition that effectively ended when Neymar was sent off in the 1-0 loss to Colombia in the group stages. Without the Barcelona star, Dunga's side lacked attacking spark and leadership in the final third of the pitch.
As we can see here, courtesy of Squawka Football, the Brazil skipper is well on the way to becoming a Brazil legend:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Career goals scored by the age of 24: Pele: 440 Neymar: 257 Ronaldo: 233 Romario: 162 https://t.co/X3jSavgMIa2016-2-5 13:30:54
There are fears he may not be in attendance at this tournament, though. As was recently reported by Sport, with the Olympics also staged this summer, it's anticipated Neymar will either play in one competition or the other to prevent exhaustion.
It'll be a worry for Dunga, and if Neymar does opt for the Olympics in his home country, Brazil's chances will be lessened. However, even if the Barcelona man isn't available, it shouldn't be catastrophic for their chances in the Centenario.
Indeed, as Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe notes, in Willian, Brazil can call upon a player who has enjoyed a wonderful season for Chelsea:
Sam Tighe @stighefootball
Willian's an awesome watch. Ability to carry ball from deep and play as pressure reliever sets him apart. #psgche2016-2-16 21:05:11
Aside from the Blues star, Liverpool duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are also extremely potent attacking threats. Another player likely to shine on the big stage is Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa; as we can see here, the winger has been mesmerising on the flanks for the German champions so far this season:
Factor in plenty of robust midfield options, and an outstanding back four, and Brazil have to be considered the favourites for glory in the United States.
Dunga's team may have faltered in 2015 and are always likely to favour pragmatism over panache. However, after another year in the job, the Selecao are going to be even tougher to beat under his tutelage and, given the attacking options aforementioned, have enough quality to edge closely fought encounters.