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Copa Sudamericana

This article is about the secondary, premier South American club tournament. For the competition trophy, see Copa Sudamericana (trophy).
"Sudamericana" redirects here. For the extinct mammal, see Sudamerica.
Copa Sudamericana
The current Copa Total Sudamericana official logo, in use since 2013
Founded 2002
Region South America (CONMEBOL)
Number of teams 47 (2014)
Current champions 23x15px River Plate (1st title)
Most successful club(s) 23x15px Boca Juniors (2 titles)
Website Official website
33px 2014 Copa Sudamericana
File:Trofeo Copa Sudamericana .jpg
The Copa Sudamericana trophy.

The Copa Sudamericana (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkopa suðameɾiˈkana]; Portuguese: Copa Sul-Americana [ˈkɔpɐ ˈsuw ɐmeɾiˈkɐnɐ]), currently known as the Copa Total Sudamericana (Portuguese: Copa Total Sul-Americana) for sponsorship reasons, is an annual international club football competition organized by the CONMEBOL since 2002.[1] It is the second most prestigious club competition in South American football. CONCACAF clubs were invited between 2004 and 2008.[2] The Copa Sudamerican began in 2002, replacing the separate competitions Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur (that before replaced Copa Conmebol) by a single competition.[1][2] Since its introduction, the competition has been a pure elimination tournament with the number of rounds and teams varying from year to year.

The Copa Sudamericana is considered a merger of defunct tournaments such as the Copa CONMEBOL, Copa Mercosur and Copa Merconorte.[3][4][5][6] The winner of the Copa Sudamericana becomes eligible to play in the Recopa Sudamericana.[7] They also gain entry onto the next edition of the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club competition. They also contest the Suruga Bank Championship.

The reigning champion of the competition is Argentine club River Plate. Argentine club Boca Juniors is the most successful club in the cup history, having won the tournament twice. Argentine clubs have accumulated the most amount of victories with six wins while containing the largest number of different winning teams, with a total of five clubs having won the title. The cup has been won by eleven different clubs and won consecutively once, by Boca Juniors in 2004 and 2005.


File:Boca Juniors vs. Pumas.jpg
Boca Juniors is currently the most successful club with two titles, won back-to-back in 2004 and 2005.

In 1992, the Copa CONMEBOL was an international football tournament created for South American clubs that did not qualify for the Copa Libertadores and Supercopa Sudamericana.[8] This tournament was discontinued in 1999 and replaced by the Copa Merconorte and Copa Mercosur. These tournaments started in 1998 but were discontinued in 2001.[9][10] A Pan-American club cup competition was intended, under the name of Copa Pan-Americana, but instead, the Copa Sudamericana was introduced in 2002 as a single-elimination tournament with the reigning Copa Mercosur champion, San Lorenzo.[11]

In 2003, the Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissan Motors started sponsoring the tournament. Thus, the competition has since been officially called Copa Nissan Sudamericana, much in the style of the Copa Libertadores branding as Copa Toyota Libertadores at the time. Also, Brazilian teams participated for the first time.[citation needed]

The 2003 tournament was won by Cienciano. Boca Juniors won the trophy consecutively in 2004 and 2005 defeating Bolívar and UNAM, respectively. Pachuca won the 2006 Copa Sudamericana defeating Colo-Colo. Their compatriots, América, tried to emulate their success but lost the 2007 final as Arsenal won the title.[citation needed]

Having already won the Copa Libertadores and Recopa Sudamericana, Internacional, with goals from Alex and Nilmar, became the first Brazilian team to win the cup, after an unbeaten campaign that includes eliminating their archrivals Grêmio, defeating Boca Juniors at the Bombonera, and then defeating Estudiantes in the final.[12][13]



As of 2012, most teams qualify to the Copa Sudamericana by virtue of their performance on half-year tournaments called the Apertura and Clausura tournaments, by finishing among the top teams in their championship, or by being the best teams from previous season that did not qualify for the Copa Libertadores. The countries that use this format are Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela. Chile and Ecuador have developed new formats for qualification to the Copa Libertadores involving several stages. Brazil is the only South American league to use a European league format instead of the Apertura and Clausura format. Peru allocates its entries similar to Brazil. Venezuela uses a second tournament to determine who qualifies to the Copa Sudamericana.

The first, second and final stages of the competition is currently contested by the following:[citation needed]

Distribution of clubs in the Copa Sudamericana
First stage
North Zone
South Zone
Second stage
North & South Zone

Argentina Zone
Brazil Zone
Final stage

The winners of the previous season's Copa Sudamericana, i.e., the title holder, are given an additional entry if they do not qualify for the tournament through their domestic performance; however, if the title holder qualify for the tournament through their domestic performance, an additional entry would be granted to the next eligible team, "replacing" the title holder.


Unlike most other competitions around the world, South American club football competitions historically did not use extra time, an additional period of play specified under the rules of a sport to bring a game to a decision and avoid declaring the match a tie or draw, or away goals, a method of breaking ties in football and other sports when teams play each other twice, once at each team's home ground, to decide a tie that was level on aggregate.[14] The "Three points for a win" standard, a system adopted by FIFA in 1995 that places additional value on wins, was adopted in CONMEBOL that same year, with teams earning 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.[15]


The current tournament features 47 clubs competing over a six- to eight-month period. There are three stages: the first stage, the second stage and the final stage.[citation needed]

The first stage pits a number of clubs, currently 32, in series of two-legged knockout ties. The clubs are separated into two geographic bases: the North Zone (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela) and the South Zone (Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay). The sixteen survivors will face each other in the North & South Zone of the second stage, again in series of two-legged knockout ties. Six teams from Argentina and eight clubs from Brazil will also contest, locally, two-legged knockout ties in the Argentina zone and Brazil zone. The eight winners from the North & Zone, the three winners of the Argentina zone and four winners of the Brazil zone will join the defending champions in the round of 16. From that point, the competition proceeds with two-legged knockout ties to quarterfinals, semifinals, and the finals.[citation needed]


File:Trofeo Copa Sudamericana .jpg
Every winner of the Copa Sudamericana is commemorated with a badge.

The tournament shares its name with the trophy, also called the Copa Sudamericana or simply la Sudamericana, which is awarded to the Copa Sudamericana winner.[16]

La Otra Mitad de La Gloria

La Otra Mitad de La Gloria (The other half of glory) is a promotional Spanish phrase used in the context of winning or attempting on winning the Copa Sudamericana.[17] It is a term widely used by Latin American media. The tournament itself has become highly regarded among its participants since its inception. In 2004, Cienciano's conquest of the trophy ignited a party across Peru.[18] The Mexican football federation regards Pachuca's victory in 2006 as the most important title won by any Mexican club.[19] Sports Illustrated qualified Arsenal, unlikely contenders for the 2007 edition, as "the underdog that couldn't be stopped".[20]


Like the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Sudamericana is sponsored by a group of multinational corporations. Like the premier South American club football tournament forementioned, the competition uses a single, main sponsor; it is currently primarily sponsored by Bridgestone Corporation, a multinational rubber conglomerate headquartered in Japan. As the main sponsor of the tournament, the competition will carry the name of the bank. Thus, the competition is known officially as the '"Copa Bridgestone Sudamericana'". The first major sponsor was Nissan Motors, who signed an 8-year contract with CONMEBOL in 2003.[citation needed]

However, the competition has had many secondary sponsors that invest in the tournament as well. Many of these sponsors are nationally based but have expanded to other nations. Nike supplies the official match ball, as they do for all other CONMEBOL competitions.[21] Embratel, a brand of Telmex, is the only telecommunications sponsor of the tournament.[22] Individual clubs may wear jerseys with advertising, even if such sponsors conflict with those of the Copa Sudamericana.[14]

Prize money

Clubs in the Copa Sudamericana receive $400,000 for qualifying for the competition. Afterwards, each club earns $90,000 per home match.[23] That amount is derived from television rights and stadium advertising.[23] In addition, CONMEBOL pays $500,000 to the winners.[23]

Records and statistics

Claudio Morel Rodríguez has won a record three Copa Sudamericana medals.

Claudio Morel Rodríguez is the only player to have won three Copa Sudamericana winners' medals.[24] The overall top goalscorer in Copa Sudamericana history is Eduardo Vargas, scorer of 11 goals. Vargas also holds the record for the most goals scored in a single Copa Sudamericana. All his 11 goals were scored in the 2011 tournament.[citation needed]

No coach has won the tournament more than once. All Copa Sudamericana winning head coaches were natives of the country they coached to victory except for Jorge Fossati and Jorge Sampaoli. Fossati, from Uruguay, coached Ecuadorian club LDU Quito to triumph in 2009, while Sampaoli, from Argentina, coached Chilean club Universidad de Chile to triumph in 2011. Mexican manager Enrique Meza coached Pachuca to win the 2006 edition, the only non-South American manager to win the title.[citation needed]

As of the end of the 2009 tournament, San Lorenzo has played 32 matches, the most by any team. LDU Quito have scored the most goals, netting 57. LDU Quito is the only team to be in the semifinals four times, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011. [25]


Team Winners Runners-Up Years Won Years Runner-Up
23x15px Boca Juniors 2 0 2004, 2005
23x15px LDU Quito 1 1 2009 2011
23x15px River Plate 1 1 2014 2003
23x15px San Lorenzo 1 0 2002
23x15px Cienciano 1 0 2003
23x15px Pachuca 1 0 2006
23x15px Arsenal 1 0 2007
23x15px Internacional 1 0 2008
23x15px Independiente 1 0 2010
23x15px Universidad de Chile 1 0 2011
23x15px São Paulo 1 0 2012
23x15px Lanús 1 0 2013


  1. ^ a b "SOUTH AMERICAN COMPETITIONS". Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Nissan South American Cup". Retrieved 28 March 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ Historia de la Copa Conmebol en página oficial
  4. ^
  5. ^ Terra Brazil
  6. ^ Santander Fútbol
  7. ^ "Recopa Sudamerica". CONMEBOL. Retrieved 28 March 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Copa CONMEBOL". conmebol. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Copa Merconorte". conmebol. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Copa Mercosur". conmebol. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Copa Pan-Americana 2003". RSSSF. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "¡Internacional brillante campeón de la Copa Nissan Sudamericana!" (in Spanish). conmebol / Reproduction: ZH. Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Inter iguala con Estudiantes y es campeón (1-1)" (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 December 2008. 
  14. ^ a b "Reglamento de la Copa Nissan Sudamericana de Clubes 2010" (PDF) (in español). CONMEBOL. April 28, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ Leapman, Ben (2005-09-15). "How three points for a win has fouled up football". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2007-01-04. [dead link]
  16. ^ Agosto abre el noveno capítulo de un torneo que se hace mayor
  17. ^ "Fiesta por la otra mitad de la gloria" (in español). HOY. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  18. ^ "Toda Peru festeja título de Cienciano" (in español). Fútbol Peru. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Historia del Club Pachuca" (in español). Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Tiny Arsenal was underdog that couldn't be stopped". Sports Illustrated. December 6, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Nike presentó la nueva pelota para el Torneo" (in español). Info Bae. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  22. ^ "Image of the 2010 Copa Sudamericana draw with its sponsors clearly represented". Caracas Futbol Club. March 9, 2006. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  23. ^ a b c "Copa Sudamericana: Goias e Independiente juegan la final. U$ 5.000.000 en disputa". Impulso. December 2, 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Claudio Morel Rodríguez". Boca Juniors. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  25. ^ "Historical table". RSSSF. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 

External links