Darwin Nunez Uruguay 2024Getty

'Captain Chaos' at the Copa America: Darwin Nunez out to prove he can lead Uruguay into a new era

The picture has gone viral. In it, Darwin Nunez stands beaming next to Luis Suarez, a striker 13 years his elder. Suarez has one hand on the number 19 emblazoned on Nunez's kit. The symbolism is clear here; Uruguay have two number 9s, a blend of new and old ahead of the Copa America.

And both forwards are flawed in their own ways. Concerns around Suarez come from his old age and creaky knees. Nunez, meanwhile, is an erratic striking presence, often brilliant while also consistently frustrating.

But the pressure lies on the younger player. Nunez is no longer a raw youngster. He has played two full seasons of Premier League football, and at nearly 25, is approaching what should really be considered prime age of a top-level athlete. For all of his talent, Nunez is an exciting enigma, a footballer equally likely to frustrate as he is to surprise. It's a fascinating duality for Marcelo Bielsa' Uruguay, who seem better positioned than ever to win South America's landmark competition - but are relying on the erratic boots of a puzzling entity to do so.

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