Copa América

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Copa América
Founded 1918
Region Continental (CONMEBOL)
Number of teams 9
Current champions  Bolivia (1st title)
Most successful team  Uruguay (6 titles)
Current

The Copa América is an international association football tournament between the men's national teams of CONMEBOL. This competition determines who will be the Continental champion of South America and is the oldest continental competition in the world.

History[edit | edit source]

Beginnings[edit | edit source]

The first recorded match in South America was held in 1867 on the railways of Argentina with the first recorded match being in 1870 in the city of Buenos Aires where the Buenos Aires Football Club was formed. As the growth of football was starting to take over the main countries in South America and in 1910 the first multi-nation tournament was held in South America. It would take another eight years for the competition to be created as the first official tournament was held in Brazil in 1918 with three teams competing. During this tournament, CONMEBOL would be founded as Argentina won the official tournament after winning both games.

The 1920 edition would see the return of Uruguay in international football after a Civil War which took them out of international football for ten years. For Uruguay, they would struggle as they wouldn't record a victory in the first two editions that they entered as Argentina took out the title the next two editions of the competition with Brazil (1920) and Paraguay (1922) being the runner up in those editions.

Uruguay became the first team other than Argentina to take out the title after winning their first of three titles in the trot as they became champions in 1923, 1925 and 1927 with the 1923 and 1927 editions being qualifiers for the Olympics Games on the following year while the 1925 edition was the first time to be incorpated into FIFA World Cup qualifying. During that time, Bolivia and Peru both debuted in the 1927 edition as they finished in third and fourth respectively.

Expanison and limitations[edit | edit source]

After a four year wait, the 1931 edition saw a brand new winner with Brazil taking out their first title in Argentina after winning of their all games to qualify through to the 1932 Summer Olympics. This was followed up by Peru taking out the 1935 edition at home to not only take out their title but to qualify through to the 1936 edition of the Olympics held in Hamburg. This meant that the battle to take out the title was now not a two horse race with Uruguay not finishing in the top 4 in 1937 with Argentina taking out the title which saw the debutant of Ecuador into the football world.

It didn't matter with Argentina and then Peru taking out the next two titles. The next big major edition came in 1947 when CONMEBOL decided to limit the number of nations in the competition to only six nations which meant for the first time there had to be a qualifier to decide the last two spots. Colombia debuted in this edition but didn't make it out of the qualifier. In the final round, Uruguay took out the title as they won by goal difference over second place, Paraguay. Paraguay would get their revenge in the following edition as they took out the title as they only conceded a draw against Ecuador in taking out the title while Uruguay finished in fifth.

The 1953 edition also became the South American qualifier for the 1954 FIFA World Cup held in Chile. Paraguay would once again take out the title and joined with Uruguay in qualifying for the 1954 edition while the host nation in Chile finished in fourth place. The following edition would see Uruguay taking out the title as they finished undefeated from their five games as they finished ahead of Brazil.

After Uruguay won the 1957 edition held in Uruguay, Ecuador hosted the 1959 edition with it also being qualifiers for the 1960 Summer Olympics held in the following year. Compared to before, Ecuador finished in last place as Brazil and Paraguay were the two teams to qualify through to the Olympic Games with Argentina later joining them in the Olympics after they won the Pan American Games later that year.

Results[edit | edit source]

South American Championship era[edit | edit source]

Year Host Final Tournament Results
Winners Runners-Up Third Place Fourth Place
1918 Brazil  Argentina  Chile  Brazil
1920 Argentina  Argentina  Brazil  Chile  Uruguay
1922 Brazil  Argentina  Paraguay  Brazil  Uruguay
1923 Uruguay  Uruguay  Brazil  Paraguay  Argentina
1925* Brazil  Uruguay  Brazil  Argentina  Paraguay
1927 Peru  Uruguay  Argentina  Peru  Bolivia
1931 Argentina  Brazil  Argentina  Paraguay  Peru
1935 Peru  Peru  Uruguay  Argentina  Chile
1937 Argentina  Argentina  Brazil  Peru  Chile
1939 Flag of Peru Peru  Peru  Paraguay  Uruguay  Chile
1941 Flag of Chile Chile  Uruguay  Argentina  Peru  Chile
1945 Flag of Argentina Argentina  Argentina  Brazil  Uruguay  Chile
1947 Flag of Ecuador Ecuador  Uruguay  Paraguay  Chile  Argentina
1949 Flag of Brazil Brazil  Paraguay  Brazil  Peru  Ecuador
1953* Flag of Peru Peru  Paraguay  Uruguay  Brazil  Chile
1957 Flag of Uruguay Uruguay  Uruguay  Brazil  Paraguay  Peru
1959 Flag of Ecuador Ecuador  Brazil  Paraguay  Argentina  Peru
1963 Flag of Bolivia Bolivia  Bolivia  Argentina  Brazil  Paraguay

* - World Cup Qualifying

External Links[edit | edit source]

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