Bolivia Copa America squad review: Outsiders set to struggle

The Bolivia Copa America squad heads to the United States with low expectations of getting any further than Group C, having won just one match at the tournament since they reached the final on home soil back in 1997.

They’ve lost all 10 Copa America fixtures since reaching the quarters in Chile nine years ago, which only heightens the psychological issues that have dogged them over the years.

Bolivia Copa America 2024 squad
Bolivia defender Jose Sagredo in friendly action against Mexico – Photo by Icon Sport

Bolivia – Key facts

Year founded: 1925

Nickname: La Verde

Current FIFA ranking: 85

Bolivia have been on a steady decline in terms of their FIFA ranking since reaching the top 50 in the late 2010s. Recent results haven’t helped either, with just two wins in 13 matches over the past year, with one of those coming in a friendly against minnows Andorra.

As a slight positive, they did claim a notable 2-0 win over Peru in a World Cup qualifier in La Paz back in November.

Highest FIFA ranking: 18th

Bolivia were a much stronger side in the 1990s than they are today, qualifying for the 1994 World Cup in the USA and rising to 18th in the world in 1997 on the back of a strong showing at the Copa America.

Year of Copa America debut: 1926

Bolivia only became a FIFA member in 1926, and that year’s South American Championship was a real baptism of fire for the national team, as they lost all four games, conceding at least five in every match.

Best Copa America performance: Winners (1963)

Bolivia have at times ruffled feathers in South America, and regularly upset the bigger nations in World Cup qualifiers at high altitude in La Paz.

It’s therefore no surprise that their two best Copa America showings have come when they’ve hosted the tournament. They won a thrilling 1963 competition, which saw them start with a 4-4 draw against Ecuador and end with a 5-4 win over world champions Brazil.

Player to watch: Leonel Justiniano

This is a squad short on star quality, particularly following the retirement of all-time top scorer Marcelo Moreno in November. Midfielder Leonel Justiniano is one of their most important players, having recently passed 50 caps for the national team. He’s one of 10 Bolivar players in the preliminary squad.

bolivia copa america squad 2024
Leonel Justiniano is one of Bolivia's most experienced and capable players – Photo by Icon Sport

Full Bolivia Copa America squad

Bolivia are one of the rank outsiders for the tournament and odds of 250/1 (better only than Panama) speak volumes about their perceived chances of a huge upset.

It’s a slightly surprising squad in some respects, with experienced players like Danny Bejarano, Erwin Saavedra and Diego Bejarano not selected. Meanwhile Denilson Duran, Moises Villarroel, Henry Vaca and Mirko Tomianovic all pulled out of the initial squad due to injuries.

Goalkeeper

  • Carlos Lampe
  • Guillermo Viscarra
  • Gustavo Almada

Defence

  • Jose Sagredo
  • Adrian Jusino
  • Roberto Fernandez
  • Luis Haquin
  • Diego Medina
  • Jesus Sagredo
  • Marcelo Suarez
  • Yomar Rocha

Midfield

  • Leonel Justiniano
  • Ramiro Vaca
  • Fernando Saucedo
  • Boris Cespedes
  • Gabriel Villamil
  • Miguel Terceros
  • Hector Cuellar
  • Robson Tome
  • Adalid Terrazas

Attack

  • Carmelo Algarañaz
  • Bruno Miranda
  • Jaume Cuellar
  • Cesar Menacho
  • Lucas Chavez
  • Rodrigo Ramallo

Mark is a freelance football writer based in Madrid. He regularly attends and covers La Liga matches around Spain, whilst also following football across Europe.