In 1956 the first edition of the UEFA Champions League, known as the European Champions Cup, took place. In 1960, the South American continent presented an equivalent competition: the Copa Libertadores da América. The organization that organizes this competition is the South American Football Confederation, better known as Conmebol. Copa Libertadores
The first editions of the tournament were disputed by the winners of the national leagues, and later the sub-classified ones could also participate in the dispute and, finally, each country had four teams. The winning team of the tournament faces the winner of the UEFA Champion League in a new competition, the Club World Cup or Mundialito.
Curiosities about the Copa Libertadores
The name of this tournament logically refers to those who led the independence of South American nations in the early 19th century.
The first match of the championship was held in April 1960 between Clube Atlético Peñarol, from Uruguay, and Clube Deportivo Jorge Wilsterman, from Bolivia . The Uruguayan club was the first champion of the tournament.
Although it is a competition of clubs in South America, there is a relevant international projection (the games are broadcast on the major channels in the United States and Spain).
In recent years, several commercial sponsors have been present, such as Toyota, Banco Santander and Bridgestone.
Since 2007, Conmebol has awarded the best player in the competition (Argentine Juan Ramón Riquelme from Boca Juniors was the first player to receive this award).
In the list of Copa Libertadores winners three Argentine teams stand out (Independiente with 7 titles, Boca Juniors with 6 and Estudiantes with 4), two Uruguayans (Peñarol with 5 and Nacional with 3) and the classics of Brazilian football (São Paulo, Grêmio and Santos, with 3 championships). The country with the most titles is Argentina (24), followed by Brazil (18) and Uruguay (8).
- – The biggest victory of the tournament came in a crushing victory by Peñarol over Valencia (11 to 2).
- – In the finals, the team that lost the most was Peñarol (with five defeats) and the one that won the most was Independiente (seven victories).
- – Paraguayan player Hever Hugo Almeida was the one who played the most matches (a total of 113).
- – The competition’s historic scorer is Alberto Spencer, from Peñarol, with 54 goals.
- – Francisco Sá is the player with the most trophies (6).
- – Carlos Bianchi is the coach with the most victories (three with Boca Juniors and one with Velez Sarsfield).
- – Finally, it is worth mentioning that Diego Armando Maradona never participated in the Copa Libertadores da América.