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 Sudamericana official logo, in use since 2015
Founded 2002
Region South America (CONMEBOL)
Number of teams 47 (from 10 associations)
Related competitions Recopa Sudamericana
Suruga Bank Championship
Copa Libertadores
Current champions Colombia Santa Fe (1st title)
Most successful club(s) Argentina Boca Juniors (2 titles)
Website Official website
2016 Copa Sudamericana

The Copa Sudamericana (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkopa suðameɾiˈkana]; Portuguese: Copa Sul-Americana [ˈkɔpɐ ˈsuw ɐmeɾiˈkɐnɐ]) 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 Sudamericana 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 in the Supercopa Euroamericana and the Suruga Bank Championship.

The reigning champion of the competition is Colombian club Santa Fe. 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 seven wins while containing the largest number of different winning teams, with a total of six clubs having won the title. The cup has been won by 11 different clubs and won consecutively once, by Boca Juniors in 2004 and 2005.


Boca Juniors is currently the most successful club with two titles, won back-to-back in 2004 and 2005.
Juan Sebastián Verón captained Argentine club Estudiantes to the finals of the 2008 Copa Sudamericana.

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]

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] In 2016, Brazilian side Chapecoense were travelling to the final when the plane carrying them crashed in Colombia. The opponents, Atlético Nacional, asked CONMEBOL for Chapecoense to be awarded the trophy.[14]


As of 2015 the tournament comprised 48 teams in a knockout format, with 16 sides getting byes to the second round (last 32).[15]


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 was sponsored by a group of multinational corporations. Like the premier South American club football tournament forementioned, the competition used a single, main sponsor. The first major sponsor was Nissan Motors, who signed an 8-year contract with CONMEBOL in 2003.

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.[23]

Prize money

Clubs in the Copa Sudamericana receive $400,000 for qualifying for the competition. Afterwards, each club earns $90,000 per home match.[24] That amount is derived from television rights and stadium advertising.[24] In addition, CONMEBOL pays $500,000 to the winners.[24]

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.[25]

As of the end of the 2014 tournament, LDU Quito and São Paulo have played most games in the tournament (50).[26]


Team Winners Runners-up Winning Years Runners-up Years
Argentina Boca Juniors22004, 2005
Ecuador LDU Quito1120092011
Argentina River Plate1120142003
Argentina San Lorenzo12002
Peru Cienciano12003
Mexico Pachuca12006
Argentina Arsenal12007
Brazil Internacional12008
Argentina Independiente12010
Chile Universidad de Chile 12011
Brazil São Paulo 12012
Argentina Lanús 12013
Colombia Santa Fe 12015

Winners by country

Country Wins
 Argentina 7
 Brazil 2
 Colombia 1
 Mexico 1
 Chile 1
 Ecuador 1
 Peru 1



  1. 1 2 "SOUTH AMERICAN COMPETITIONS". Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  2. 1 2 "Nissan South American Cup". Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  3. Historia de la Copa Conmebol en página oficial
  5. Terra Brazil
  6. Santander Fútbol
  7. "Recopa Sudamerica". CONMEBOL. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  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. "Atletico Nacional ask for Chapecoense to be declared Copa Sudamericana champions after plane crash".
  15. Karel Stokkermans (10 December 2015). "Copa Sudamericana 2015". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  16. Agosto abre el noveno capítulo de un torneo que se hace mayor
  17. "Fiesta por la otra mitad de la gloria" (in Spanish). HOY. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  18. "Toda Peru festeja título de Cienciano" (in Spanish). Fútbol Peru. Archived from the original on May 17, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  19. "Historia del Club Pachuca" (in Spanish). 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 Spanish). 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. Archived from the original on August 13, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  23. "Reglamento de la Copa Nissan Sudamericana de Clubes 2010" (PDF) (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. April 28, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 10, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  24. 1 2 3 "Copa Sudamericana: Goias e Independiente juegan la final. U$ 5.000.000 en disputa". Impulso. December 2, 2010. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  25. "Claudio Morel Rodríguez". Boca Juniors. Archived from the original on 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  26. "Historical table". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  27. Karel Stokkermans (23 December 2015). "Copa Sudamericana". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 February 2016.

External links

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