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The South American equivalent of the European Championships, it was first held in Argentina back in 1916, under the guise of the Campeonato Sudamericano de Seleciones (the South American Championship). The world's oldest international football competition, it took it's present name of the Copa America back in 1975.

The tournament is organised by the South American Football Confederation (aka CONMEBOL) and all 10 of it's member countries take part (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela). Since 1993 two other non-CONMEBOL nations have been invited to take part (for example Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Japan).

In 1984 CONMEMBOL came up with a fair hosting system - starting with Argentina in 1987 it decided to take the tournament on the road so that each member country would take it in turns to host the event. The 2007 championship in Venezuela meant that all 10 members had hosted the tournament once since 1987. Previous to this, between 1975 and 1983 the tournament suffered from a decline in interest and was played out using home and away legs.

The tournament used to be held every other year, but the confederation decided that as from 2007 it will take place every 4 years to try and align it with the format of the other 2 great national team championships, the World Cup and the European Championships. One of the main problems that the Copa America suffers from is that many now consider the South American World Cup qualification league as the de facto competition for the continent, and the tournament has been blighted in recent years by withdrawals of key players and criticism that it's not taken as seriously as the European nations take their championships. A great recent example is Ronaldinho and Kaka's withdrawal from the 2007 Brazilian squad, citing tiredness. Can anyone really imagine the likes of Gattuso, Klose, Henry, Rooney or Ronaldo doing that, or their national federations letting them. Obviously, the big European teams and their managers are also to blame, often requesting or suggesting such withdrawals.


The Championships
Year Winner Runner-up Score Host Nation
2007 Brazil Argentina 3:0 P
2004 Brazil Argentina 2:2 (4:2 pens) Peru
2001 Colombia Mexico 1:0 Colombia
1999 Brazil Uruguay 3:0 Paraguay
1997 Brazil Bolivia 3:1 Bolivia
1995 Uruguay Brazil 1:1 (5:3 pens) Uruguay
1993 Argentina Mexico 2:1 Ecuador
1991 Argentina Brazil League format Chile
1989 Brazil Uruguay League format Brazil
1987 Uruguay Chile 1:0 Argentina
1983 Uruguay Brazil 3:1 (2:0 1:1) n/a
1979 Paraguay Chile 3:1 (3:0 0:1 0:0) n/a
1975 Peru Colombia 3:1 (0:1 2:0 1:0) n/a
1967 Uruguay Argentina Uruguay
1963 Bolivia Paraguay Bolivia
1959 Uruguay Argentina Ecuador
1959 Argentina Brazil Argentina
1957 Argentina Brazil Peru
1956 Uruguay Chile Uruguay
1955 Argentina Chile Chile
1953 Paraguay Brazil Peru
1949 Brazil Paraguay Brazil
1947 Argentina Paraguay Ecuador
1946 Argentina Brazil Argentina
1945 Argentina Brazil Chile
1942 Uruguay Argentina Uruguay
1941 Argentina Uruguay Chile
1939 Peru Uruguay Peru
1937 Argentina Brazil Argentina
1935 Uruguay Argentina Peru
1929 Argentina Paraguay Argentina
1927 Argentina Uruguay Peru
1926 Uruguay Argentina Chile
1925 Argentina Brazil Argentina
1924 Uruguay Argentina Uruguay
1923 Uruguay Argentina Uruguay
1922 Brazil Paraguay Brazil
1921 Argentina Brazil Argentina
1920 Uruguay Argentina Chile
1919 Brazil Uruguay Brazil
1917 Uruguay Argentina Uruguay
1916 Uruguay Argentina Argentina


Most Successful Nations
Argentina and Uruguay are the tournament's kings, way ahead, surprisingly, of Brazil, even though they have won 3 of the last 4 tournaments.
Titles Nation Years
14 Argentina 1921, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1937, 1941, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1991, 1993
14 Uruguay 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1956, 1959, 1967, 1983, 1987, 1995
8 Brazil 1919, 1922, 1949, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007
2 Paraguay 1953, 1979
2 Peru 1939, 1975
1 Bolivia 1963
1 Colombia 2001


Always the Bridesmaid...
The list of countries who've finished runners up the most times...
Number Nation Years
12 Argentina 1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1935, 1942, 1959, 1967, 2004, 2007
11 Brazil 1921, 1925, 1937, 1945, 1946, 1953, 1957, 1959, 1983, 1991, 1995
6 Uruguay 1919, 1927, 1939, 1941, 1989, 1999
5 Paraguay 1922, 1929, 1947, 1949, 1963
4 Chile 1955, 1956, 1979, 1987
2 Mexico 1993, 2001
1 Bolivia 1997
1 Colombia 1975


Top Scorers
Who's banged the most goals in over the years since the South American Championship became the Copa America in 1975...
Year Top Scorer Country Num of Goals
2007 Robinho Brazil 6
2004 Adriano Brazil 7
2001 Victor Aristizabal Colombia 6
1999 Rivaldo Brazil 5
Ronaldo Brazil 5
1997 Luis Hernandez Mexico 6
1995 Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 4
Luis Garcia Mexico 4
1993 Jose Dolgetta Venezuela 4
1991 Gabriel Batistuta Argentina 6
1989 Bebeto Brazil 6
1987 Arnoldo Iguaran Colombia 6
1983 Carlos Aguilera Uruguay 3
Jorge Burruchaga Argentina 3
Roberto Dinamite Brazil 3
1979 Eugenio Morel Paraguay 4
Jorge Peredo Chile 4
1975 Leo Luque Argentina 4
Ernesto Diaz Colombia 4