Venezuela Copa America squad review: Tough tournament ahead for La Vinotinto

Of the 16 teams competing in the 48th iteration of the Copa America this summer, Venezuela are listed among the least-fancied outfits.

However, a relatively kind group could offer La Vinotinto an opportunity to make the competition’s knockout phase. Head coach Fernando Batista has only had his feet under the table for a little over a year, though he has masterminded five wins from 12 fixtures for his new employers.

Within that run, he's lost only twice along the way, and Venezuela should be tricky opponents for Mexico, Ecuador and Jamaica in Copa America Group B.

Venezuela – Key stats

Year founded: 1938

Current FIFA ranking: 54

Venezuela are the third-highest ranked outfit in Copa America’s Group B just ahead of Jamaica (64). Remarkably, they are the only CONMEBOL nation to have never qualified for a FIFA World Cup.

Highest FIFA ranking: 25

In 2019, Venezuela enjoyed a spike in performances and results under popular former manager Rafael Dudamel and with a sprinkling of emerging talent. They beat high-profile sides like Argentina and the USA in friendly encounters before they reached the quarter-finals of the Copa America.

Year of Copa America debut: 1967

Venezuela were late-comers to the Copa America stage, though their first foray into continental action in 1967 didn’t go all that smoothly. They lost four of their five fixtures on their tournament debut.

Best Copa America performance: Fourth place (2011)

In 2011, Venezuela made a mockery of their underdog status to finish fourth at the Copa America in Argentina. Venezuela eliminated Chile in the quarter-finals before their adventure was ended by Peru in the semis after a dramatic penalty shootout.

Player to watch: Salomón Rondón

Iconic Venezuelan centre-forward Salomón Rondón is the country’s leading scorer of all time by a considerable distance, thanks to his haul of 41 goals in 104 appearances.

The international centurion had stints with Premier League clubs Newcastle and Everton earlier in his club career, and the powerful 34-year-old will compete at the Copa America on the back of a prolific campaign in Mexico with Pachuca (21 goals in 28 games).

Full Venezuela Copa America squad

Roberto Rosales, Mikel Villanueva, Rómulo Otero and Júnior Moreno are among the bigger names missing from Venezuela’s Copa America squad, though the absence of 14-goal striker Josef Martínez could be the hardest felt. The Montreal forward is nursing a knee injury and hasn’t been able to recover in time.

There are 30 players currently on Venezuelan’s provisional squad list, though that will need to be whittled down before the tournament starts.

Goalkeeper

  • Rafael Romo (Universidad Católica)
  • Alain Baroja (Always Ready)
  • Joel Graterol (América de Cali)
  • José Contreras (Águilas Doradas)

Defence

  • Alexander González (Emelec)
  • Jhon Chancellor (Metropolitanos)
  • Wilker Ángel (Criciúma)
  • Yordan Osorio (Parma)
  • Nahuel Ferraresi (São Paulo)
  • Miguel Navarro (Talleres)
  • Christian Makoun (Anorthosis Famagusta)
  • Jon Aramburu (Real Sociedad)
  • Carlos Vivas (Deportivo Táchira)

Midfield

  • Tomás Rincón (Santos)
  • Darwin Machís (Cádiz)
  • Jhon Murillo (Atlas)
  • Yeferson Soteldo (Grêmio)
  • Jefferson Savarino (Botafogo)
  • Yangel Herrera (Girona)
  • Cristian Cásseres Jr. (Toulouse)
  • José Andrés Martínez (Philadelphia Union)
  • Eduard Bello (Mazatlán)
  • Samuel Sosa (Querétaro)
  • Daniel Pereira (Austin FC)
  • Telasco Segovia (Casa Pia)
  • Kervin Andrade (Fortaleza)
  • Matías Lacava (Vizela)

Attack

  • Salomón Rondón (Pachuca)
  • Eric Ramírez (Atlético Nacional)
  • Jhonder Cádiz (Famalicão)

Simon Winter is a professional football tipster and sports journalist with over ten years in the industry. Best known for his time with Racing Post, Simon has also had work published by Freesupertips, Bloomberg Sports, bet365, Paddy Power, Colossus Bets, These Football Times and more. Simon covers the Bundesliga and Serie A for Football Whispers.