Soccer in South America

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Soccer isthe most popular sport in South America . South American football is often referred to as the technically best, especially because of the very high playing culture of the successful football nations Brazil , Argentina and Uruguay . The continental association is the Confederação Sul-Americana de Futebol ( CONMEBOL ), which was founded in 1916. Members are ten of the twelve states in South America, with the exception of Guyana and Suriname . Like French Guiana ,these belong tothe Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football ( CONCACAF ) and also take part in its competitions.

As a special feature of South American (Latin American) football, the national football championships in most countries are divided into two half-year series Apertura and Clausura , which are rated separately and for which a separate championship title is often awarded in some countries.

Competitions for national teams

Copa America

The Copa América has been held since 1916 . Uruguay is the record winner with 15 titles . It was held every two years - with exceptions - every four years since 2007.

Argentina won the Copa America 14 times, Brazil won the title nine times, Chile , Paraguay and Peru twice each, and Bolivia and Colombia once each. Ecuador came fourth twice as the best placement. Venezuela has so far achieved a fourth place in this tournament.

South American Women's Championship

The South American Women's Football Championship ( Spanish: Sudamericano Femenino) has been held at irregular intervals since 1991 , from 2006 every four years in the previous year of the Women's World Cup . With 5 titles in 6 events so far, Brazil is the record champion.

Junior tournaments

Previous competitions (selection)

In the past, there were a large number of competitions for national soccer teams in South America that were only held between two countries. Between Argentina and Uruguay these were among others. a. the Copa Newton , Copa Lipton , the Gran Premio de Honor Argentino or Gran Premio de Honor Uryguayo, the Copa Héctor Gómez and the Copa Juan Mignaburu.

Between Argentina and Brazil a . a. the Copa Roca .

Between Argentina and Paraguay a . a. the Copa Chevallier Boutell.

Between Argentina and Chile a . a. the Copa Carlos Dittborn.

Between Brazil and Chile a . a. the Copa Bernardo O'Higgins.

Between Brazil and Uruguay a . a. the Copa Río Branco .

Between Uruguay and Paraguay a . a. the Copa Artigas, the Copa Félix Bogado.

Between Uruguay and Chile a . a. the Copa Juan Pinto Durán .

Between Peru and Chile a . a. the Copa del Pacífico.

Between Bolivia and Paraguay a . a. the Copa Paz del Chaco.

These competitions have lost their importance since the 1960s, mostly earlier, and have only been played out sporadically since then. In the meantime, with a few exceptions, they have been completely discontinued due to scheduling reasons.

In 1910 there was a one-time tournament with 3 participants ( Argentina , Uruguay and Chile ) the Campeonato Sudamericano (1910) , which was often incorrectly upgraded to the first (unofficial) South American Championship (Copa America) .

From 1956 to 1976 the Copa del Atlántico (Taça do Atlântico) was played between the four participants Brazil , Argentina , Uruguay and Paraguay .

CONCACAF national teams

Neither the Surinamese national soccer team nor the Guyanese national soccer team could qualify for the World Cup or for the CONCACAF Gold Cup . At the soccer Caribbean championship , Suriname was able to take fourth place twice, Guyana once as the greatest successes.

Competitions for clubs

Copa Libertadores

In terms of importance, the Copa Libertadores is comparable to the UEFA Champions League in Europe. The record champions are the Argentine club Independiente Avellaneda with seven titles. The game was played for the first time in 1960. The winner (or, in the event that the winner is not from South America, the best-ranked South American team) qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup .

Copa Sudamericana

The Copa Sudamericana , introduced in 2002, is the second most important competition in South American club football after the Copa Libertadores. It is sometimes compared to the UEFA Europa League in European football; In contrast to this, however, some of the Copa Libertadores also play in it.

Recopa Sudamericana

The Recopa Sudamericana is the South American Supercup for club teams. From 1989 to 1998 the winner of the Copa Libertadores and the winner of the Supercopa Sudamericana (Supercopa Libertadores / Supercopa Joao Havelange) determined the winner. From 1999 to 2002 the game was not played, the winner has been determined since 2003 between the winners of the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana .

Previous competitions

Copa Aldao (1916-1947)

Copa del Atlántico 1947

The Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones 1948 was a competition of the South American football champions. It can be considered the first attempt at a championship competition in South America.

Copa del Atlántico de Clubes 1956

Supercopa (1968-1969)

Recopa Sudamericano de Clubes 1970/71

Supercopa Sudamericana (Supercopa Libertadores / Supercopa João Havelange) (1988–1997) & Copa Master Supercopa Libertadores (1992 + 1995) .

The Copa Conmebol (1992–1999) & the Copa Master Conmebol (Copa Conmebol Master) 1996.

Copa de Oro Nicolás Leoz (1993–1996)

Copa Mercosur & Copa Merconorte (1998-2001).


The CONCACAF Champions League (formerly the Champions Cup ) is the CONCACAF football cup for club teams. The teams from Guyana and Suriname take part in it.

National competitions and associations

Argentina Argentina

The umbrella organization Asociación del Fútbol Argentino was founded in 1893 and is therefore the oldest association of the Conmebol. There are 2994 clubs (as of 2002). The first division is called Primera División (or Superliga) and comprises 24 club teams (as of 2020). There is also a second national league called Primera B Nacional . An official cup competition was first held in 1969 and reactivated in 2011 after more than 40 years.

Bolivia Bolivia

The umbrella organization, Federación Boliviana de Fútbol was founded in 1925 and organizes only one national league, the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano (LFPB) with 12 club teams. The record champions are Club Bolívar with 15 titles, followed by Club The Strongest with 6.

Brazil Brazil

The Confederação Brasileira de Futebol was founded in 1914 and today comprises around 6000 clubs. A national championship has been played since 1971. The nationwide game operation is divided into the four leagues Série A (20 club teams), Série B (20 teams), Série C (40 teams) and Serie D (40 teams) and takes place in the second half of the year. The Série A is one of the ten strongest leagues in the world. Also of importance are the state championships , most of which are held between January and May, and the Brazilian Cup, Copa do Brasil .

Chile Chile

Chilean football is organized by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile . It was founded in 1895, making it the second oldest association in South America. The league system is called Liga Chilena de Fútbol , the first league Primera División , with 18 club teams, and the second national league, Primera B, with 14 teams. The Copa Chile cup competition was held for the last time in 2000.

Ecuador Ecuador

The umbrella organization Federación Ecuatoriana de Fútbol (FEF) was founded in 1925 and comprises 1000 clubs. The league system is called Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol . Since the sponsor of the league is a brewery, the two national leagues Serie A and Serie B , each comprising 12 teams, are referred to with the name Copa Pilsener . The record champions are the Barcelona Sporting Club with 14 titles.

Guyana Guyana

The umbrella organization is called the Guyana Football Federation and was founded in 1902. Currently there is no professional league in the European sense, the Guyana National Football League was discontinued in 2001. In addition, the cup competition, the Guyana Mayors Cup , has been held continuously since 1999, and the Kashif & Shanghai Knockout Tournament , which has been held since 1990, is also important .

Colombia Colombia

The umbrella organization Federación Colombiana de Fútbol was founded in 1925 and includes 3,685 associations (as of 1990). At the end of the 1940s , the Premier League was the most powerful and richest football league. The league is called Fútbol profesional colombiano or (for sponsorship reasons) Liga Postobón and is divided into a league, a group and a playoff phase. The second division is called Liga Postobón . There is also the Copa Colombia cup competition , also known as Copa Postobón .

Paraguay Paraguay

The umbrella organization Asociación Paraguaya de Fútbol was founded in 1906 and comprises around 1,100 clubs. The competition system is called Liga Paraguaya, the first division of which Primera División , in which 12 club teams play. In this league, Olimpia Asunción and Club Cerro Porteño are fighting for the championship, but Libertad Asunción is currently dominant . There is also a second national league, the División Intermedia with 10 club teams.

Peru Peru

The umbrella organization Federación Peruana de Fútbol was founded in 1922. In addition to the league system ( Liga Peruana de Fútbol ) there is also a cup competition, the Copa Peru . The first division, Primera División, consists of 12 club teams, the second, Segunda División , only 11. A Peruvian team has never won the Copa Libertadores.

Uruguay Uruguay

The Football in Uruguay is the National Football Association Uruguayan Football Association organized. This was founded in 1900 and includes around 1100 clubs. The league system is called Campeonato Uruguayo de Fútbol . In the first division Primera División , which includes 16 teams, Nacional Montevideo and Peñarol Montevideo always won the championship with a few exceptions . The second division Segunda División also includes 16 club teams.

Suriname Suriname

The umbrella organization Surinaamse Voetbal Bond was founded in 1920. The highest league is called Eerste Divisie , in which thirteen teams have been competing for the championship since the 2017/18 season. The second national league is the Tweede Divisie . The national cup competition is called Beker van Suriname . The winners of the league and the cup play the President's Cup among themselves .

Venezuela Venezuela

The Federación Venezolana de Fútbol was founded in 1926, making it the youngest association of the Conmebol. The first league is called Primera División and comprises 18 teams, a second professional league, the Segunda División , comprises 12. There is also a cup competition that changed its name several times and has been called Copa Venezuela since 2007 .

Other areas and territories

In French Guiana there has also been an umbrella organization since 1962, the Ligue de Football de Guyane , which is also affiliated with CONCACAF. However, since the area is part of the French heartland, it does not have its own national team, it also officially belongs to the Fédération Française de Football . There is a separate championship, the Championnat de Guyane with 12 teams, as well as a separate cup competition.

Football is only played as a hobby in the Falkland Islands . However, the islands have their own national team that regularly takes part in the Island Games . There has also been an umbrella organization called the Falkland Islands Football League since 1947 , which organizes a football tournament with four teams.

The Easter Island , which belongs to Chile, also has its own football team. She is a member of the NF board and has so far only played two games against the selection of the Juan Fernández Islands, which are also Chilean .

Major players in South America (selection)

Many world-famous footballers come from South America. They are famous for their creative style of play and high technical skills on the ball. Since 1971 there has been an annual election for South America's Footballer of the Year .

Major clubs in South America (selection)

A number of world-famous football clubs come from South America. They are often national champions in their respective countries and winners of the Copa Libertadores in South America . They gained notoriety outside of South America primarily through their participation in or winning the World Cup, which was held annually from 1960 to 2004 . With one exception, clubs from South America also reached the final of the FIFA Club World Cup, which has been held since (2002) 2005 .

See also

Web links