A Brief History of Copa America - The Top teams, The Biggest Winners and Everything You Need to Know
The Copa America is one of the largest sporting events attracting billions of viewers from around the world. The competition which is over a century old has been the longest standing international tournament. The biggest names in Argentina and Brazil have support extending to the farthest corners of the globe making it a global competition worth watching. The Commercial rights alone are worth more than 100million Euros. The talent on the show worth even more!
- Pele and Diego Maradona have never won the competition. Despite their World Cup exploits, the greatest footballers of their century have never laid their hands on the prestigious trophy. Bizarre!!
- Despite the talents of Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay has bagged the most golds; 15 times in total. PS: They are also the least populated country among the Copa American champions.
- Paraguay reached the final of the 2011 Copa America without registering a single win in the entire edition. They crawled their way to the final, drawing each of their group stage matches and winning the knockouts through penalty shootouts. Talk about luck!
- Jamaica has participated in two editions of the competition but hasn’t managed to score a single goal. Jamaica lost all six of the matches they played across both editions.
- The 100th Anniversary of the tournament saw the continental cup take place outside the continent!! The USA hosted the Copa America Centenario in 2016, and that too with just six months’ notice.
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 27, 2016
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Argentina started the tournament in 1910, to celebrate the centenary of the May Revolution. Brazil, Uruguay and Chile were invited and the hosts claimed a 4-1 victory against Uruguay in the final. The tournament was not officially accepted by the South American Federation. 6 years later, Argentina hosted the tournament once again, only this time losing to Uruguay in the final, to give the official title to Uruguay.
- Out of the 141 medals that have been presented, 90 was claimed by the top three in the competition, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Argentina has reached more finals than any other team, 28, winning on half the occasions.
- The Copa America has a long-standing tradition of inviting nations from other confederations of FIFA. This is mainly done to bridge the shortage of teams participating from within the continent. Costa Rica, Honduras, Japan, Jamaica, Mexico, Haiti, Panama, and the United States are the invitee nations that took part in the competition. Although no foreign team has won the tournament, Mexico came close twice in 1993 and 2001 when they reached the final. They also managed a third-place finish in 1997, 1999, and 2007 editions.
- Argentina has the biggest win in the competition, a scoreline of 12-0 against Ecuador in 1942. The Argentinians are also the competitions all-time top scorers; 455 goals in total.
- Brazil has the most goals in a single edition with 46 in 1949.
Copa America BEST PLAYERS🔥 #alisson #danialves #marquinhos #maripan #alexsandro #jamesrodríguez #depaul #fernandinho #messi #suarez #aguero #brazil #columbia #uruguay #copaamerica #football #fussball #soccer #22bet pic.twitter.com/xrb0gn27lj
— 22BET (@22bet_official) June 14, 2019
- The tournament had no real structure to as and when to contest it until as recent as 2017 when they adopted the quadrennial system starting from 2020. Oh, wait! Starting from 2021!
- Qatar and Australia were invited to this year’s edition but were forced to withdraw as the schedules of the Copa America and World Cup Qualifying matches are not in sync. The competition is to proceed with only 10 teams this year, rather than the norm of 12.
◆ Winners : Brazil🇧🇷
◆ Fair Play Award: Brazil🇧🇷
◆ Best Goalkeeper: Alison🇧🇷
◆ Top GoalScorer: Everton🇧🇷
◆ Best Player: Dani Alves🇧🇷
Brazil Dominance 💪 pic.twitter.com/meS06ZFdi2
— Football Factly (@FootballFactly) July 8, 2019
COPA AMERICA TOP TEAMS
15 titles from 1916 to 2011 have gained many plaudits from pundits for the La Celeste. Uruguay who is also the smallest country to lift the World Cup is an asset to the competition and an inspiration for many other teams. The astonishing fact is the notable title drought in recent years, managing to win the cup only once in 2011, led by Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan.
Argentina has won the competition 14 times, one shy of the leaders Uruguay. The formidable outfit is yet to see their title glories on this side of the century though. The last time they won the competition was in 1993. They came close in 2015 and 2016 when they reached the finals of the tournament. The opposition Chile, won in both instances, shocking the world on either occasion.
Brazil, despite being arguably the most talent-rich nation has only won the competition on nine occasions, with most of their titles coming close to the 21st century. They are the current champions and will look to increase their tally in the upcoming edition. Their first title in 1919 was the start of the football revolution within the country. A game that was considered an idle pastime for the Richie rich soon began to take popularity among the masses. Today, well, as you all know, they are the powerhouse, producing the most skilled players the World has ever seen.
Shocking still, that the World Cup forerunners lack in their own turf.
The South Americans love to dance and their football is no different. Cha-cha-cha, Samba or be it Tango, their style is impeccable. The Elastico, Rainbow flicks, Step over’s, Sombre’s and many more outlandish moves were either invented or popularised by the South Americans. Known for their passion and tenacity, the Copa America is a culmination of football’s most beautiful tricksters.